Keep Breathing by David Rodriguez

Keep Breathing

When I breathe, I know, open-mouthed,
I allow my ribs to pull up and out,
tensed as the frame drum’s spitting beat,
air pressure lowering so I become
a bubblegum-colored slide into the alveoli.
When I exhale, the intercostal forces subside,
my shrinking thoracic cavity resumes its size,
my air succumbs to gravity, and carbon
dioxide escapes me, a letting go
without everything going. Focus.
With my head on the ground I listen to
the world’s pulse: a symphony of
dancing white iron and nickel,
the snowfall of words cycling into runoff,
dusk wind’s hiss reminiscent of my
father last seen knee-deep in the Abita River
breathing. and so we come to my plea.