Susan Cohen

To My Breath

I held you underwater once
just long enough. I lost you running. 
A baseball socked you out of me, 
a car slammed my flat chest 
to the pavement. You deserve 
endearments: Essence Closest 
To My Heart, Native Offering. 
Slapped into being, bellowed 
from my lungs, how you do carry 
my tune. I taste you as The Ginger
and The Clove of Me. You 
are where I meet the universe 
coming and going. Beloved Atoms 
from all that ever breathed— 
mastodon, Cleopatra, poison ivy—
you let me make you my familiar.
Baying Dog of Mine, Buzz 
of the Hot Hive in My Breast. 
My Sweet Parakeet, I let you
escape. You keep coming back.