Apnea

by Elaine Mintzer

Blame the machine
for the fact that white petals on the water’s surface

have closed my mouth to the possibilities
and I refuse to swallow the song

that sticks in my throat
until my husband, lying beside me in bed,

lifts himself on one elbow in the dark.
“Breathe,” he says to move me with the holy spirit,

but this is less about movement
than about a failure of transportation;

about a woman whose jewelry knots in the box
and requires surgery at the business end

of fingernails and straight pins;
about chains that snap and reds that turn blue,

blues that run sluggish and forget to breathe,
giving rise to lightning on the horizon

as dendrite and neuron drown.
From under water, my eyes

see the plum petals,
the white rafts floating on the great sea
where all the rivers empty.

Elaine Mintzer has been published or has work forthcoming in journals and anthologies including The Ishka Bibblel Book of Desire, Lucid Moose Lit’s Like a Girl anthology, The Ekphrastic Review, Cultural Weekly, Rattle, Spillway and The Lindenwood Review. Her work was featured in 13 Los Angeles Poets. Elaine’s first collection, Natural Selections, was published by Bombshelter Press. She writes and teaches writing in Los Angeles.

Comments

By Lee on Oct 24, 2017 15:31 (UTC)

Love it!