“Do not Puff up the Cheeks, Loll not out the tongue, rub the Hands, or beard, thrust out the lips, or bite them or keep the Lips too open or too Close.” G. Washington

It is the wind that puffs and blows,
parachutes cascading from clouds

sliced open by wings. Here we come,
faces carved closed like wood, lips tight,

floating downward into a dream
sandwiched with nightmares. We’re spiced up

with the supersaturated
breath of the anxious — rich with salt,

dripping with honey, carrying
impurities, imperfections.

False hopes lift us up like a bridge
and settle us down so gently

we don’t even realize there are needles
sharply pricking beneath our feet.

As long as we don’t move, floating
barely above reality,

we can call ourselves a dreamer,
protected in shivering sleep.


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