More Leaves of Grass

The smoke of my breath

Sally James

The smoke of my breath haunts me
like a spirit ascending
A veiled spiral in autumn air
dancing
on fingered branches
as leaves shrivel like spent tears
and fall to earth
damp with the musk of night.

The pale sun weeps over distant hills
a misty silhouette of a born day
Bird song freezes in your stillness
as you catch my breath
in cupped palms
Do not blow me away
like a stale whisper
for my expiration
is your inspiration
Return my cradled sigh
to the ripe morning meadow
where blooming can only sharpen
a blade of summer grass.