Breath & Its Fetters

Finger the sun-beaten braille
Swarming the crusts of my skin;

Leafing through the pages,
Will you spread your pall
As a timid autumn night?

When I sigh at sleep’s contours,
Will you coil at my feet?
Or
Do your palms expand
As I look the other way?

Sat cross-legged,
Hands diving in between my thighs,
Digging at inaction;
Only to number the bridges,
Never to amble beyond.
Wait.
Legs tighten.
Your grip firming at my collar bones.

Walk away,
I say with a broad smile.

Different, how?
From crescent-eyed villagers greeting
Rockets with open arms,
And even wider chests .

Belted to your swelling ribs;
Did we gallop past the stable
To grope at thin air?

Are we there yet?
To the blunt cusp of your restive walls,
Where you hug my lungs at ransom?

Photograph: Abdullah Al Mahmud

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