(Making Ready)

by DEVON WALKER-FIGUEROA

 

I envy the air

It neither marks nor mourns
              its own passage but dashes blind

through newborn throats and never                
              notes the terrible

pitches to which it gives way but just keeps    
moving keeps conforming

to each curvature with all
             the acquiescence of a sigh let loose in sleep     
and how
             sky      zephyr      ether     void          

it carries the weight of every name        every gesture       
never heeding how               long each one

(say I        say hew       say panacea)
          
takes to ring                 
                   
                     takes to die      
            

                        ~

There are times I think I can hold
it inside              me forever       
               this air                            other
times only a second      
                            when my life is still

new and my memories soft as untouched
skin I hold until it goes  
               
stale and useless inside me       I

have feared it too          (as now forgotten
kings feared 

              the maker they could not make themselves                     
love)       how its invisibility and necessity balance

in algebraic perfection                 how it fills the mouths of the
                             living as it swells
the bellies of the dead            rouses the neurons 

and the tympana       and those tiny molluskan chambers that
             coiled so delicately behind
the eyes                 are forever ready to make each sound              

drop of a needle                       
               
             drip of a faucet                        
                         
                            tocsin of a graceless bell         
                                               
                       
                  reverberate