City Made of Centuries of Breath

City Made of Centuries of Breath
by Dan Raphael

As though the air was glass or ice

all but what i’m swimming through

the dangerous step between media

orientation before acceleration

The less you weigh the easier to influence

wind vs muscle, gravity vs enlightenment.

if we could land on the sun, if turbined micro-wind tunnels

whistled through parts of me, leaving nothing but watts,

taking nothing bit momentum

Loves labors, friction to tinder, stillness ignites

remove the marrows memory, show calcium

it can be bamboo instead of plaster.

you don’t wash feathers you edit them, align with the light

i’m a tumbler, rolling with the punches

You can be too thin, too rich, too close together

shoulders of padded illusion

shoulder or elbow or fist, suicidal head-butts

even wood peckers know to insulate, let the hammer go through

before pulling it back, from forge to forgery

My wing span, my vertical, a non muscular hovering

as the brain is a heliocentric bird with throbbing meaty feathers

the body’s a dam, the last tree standing, ridge-top middle finger.

who gets to perch on the tallest, above the binoculars

& private elevators, without rockets or shields

light focused to a rebel physics, a simulated emission

when my only move is to shake the can before opening it

The whole citys my bathroom, the quicker my stomach sorts its baggage

the more i can catch on the wing, pecking stalks & fruit,

nestling my long beak into the sweet & ready crevasse

Velocitys illusion of fierce, of determined,

we all walk funny, those who’d rather float than fly,

the optism inherent in unplanned stops,

those who want to be driven, slow roasted rather than aglow

When i’m stoked with protein and have no idea where i’m going—

must be love, love of the moments fire, love of the next inhalation

even if each body has a set number of heartbeats, the rapid epic

after 10 flights of stairs, from dinosaurs to skyscrapers

before the sedative rhythm of here and now

Would you rather run our of space or time, given the liver

of someone smaller and saner, given the eyes of an inuit pointillist

when the mountains snowy mantle spreads its wings into summer

when a thousand mosquitoes go surfing on the pond of me

when i learn to keep my food in my stomach cause no one wants that mess

i wont eat anything that doesn’t have a bar code

How can i fly when i tremble to jump from a two foot wall,

as if the sidewalk is really deep water and i’m not graceful enough

to not conk my head as i break through the surface and lose my sense of direction

realize how little difference tween water and air, feel my internal pilot lights,

my muscles ready to push against something and find a safe place to open my mouth

where utterance doesn’t bring unwanted consequence,

surprised my front door opens onto a six lane street people are paid to keep clogged,

there’s no other side, just anywhere but here, what goes up needs a new home,

what comes down reeking of windowless combustion

1 thought on “City Made of Centuries of Breath

  1. Dan Raphael’s poetry always thrills me, it’s unformulated
    non formulaic anarchic diffuse spirit makes my day, its
    rhythmic, dynamic,sometimes bombastic energy and imagery
    takes me to a higher realm of language, which is what creative language poetry is all about.

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