Breath is Life. 

And I took mine for granted. 
Effortless songs
and shouts
and oxygen transfer so my body could 



Until the day it couldn’t 
3 weeks of fever and sickness 
Shallow breaths and weakness

Poorly timed and unnamed 

and coughing 

Spitting up fluid like the drowning in my dreams
left half an ocean in my lungs. 

After that passed, I thought I was fine. 

Until I gasped for air doing the smallest things 

Getting my mail 
23 steps  
Walking up stairs  
14 steps  
Taking a shower 
9 steps  
Taking out the trash 
28 steps 

28 years old and 28 steps
left my chest heaving

Did you know the lungs of birds 
Are structured like a billow 
Both inhale and exhale push
fresh air through respiration.
 An endless breath.

I remembered being an athlete 
Running and
for hours  
I tried to build my strength back,
 tried to jog for
2 minutes and
21 seconds.

I discovered how it felt to 
on clean air and sunshine
As my chest inflated, 
coughed out, 
clawed again for more 
With no relief 

Now each morning I wake to birdsong.
To instructions on 
How to inhale 
How to exhale 
How to feel where that tide has crept.
How to taste that featherlight foam that divides