Stop Breathing

By Elizabeth Hughey

It is filthy but imagines itself to be clean, it will be clean, it is made of
stone, it has no cracks down
which crumbs, it is dirty, it is filthy, it is a foul place, but if you say it is
a heaven
it will be a heaven one day in someone else’s mind in someone else’s
apartment in someone else’s
television over the radio it is awful but say it is right, it is bleeding, it is
all blood,
it will not come out, it is damned, but imagine it is soft, loved, wanted,
birthed, it is terminal,
like a terminal bud, which means it is green, it is responsible for new
growth, wouldn’t that be
lovely, even though it is ugly, infected, sickening, quiet, it a painting of
something ugly
and that makes it pretty enough, it was imagined to be pretty one day, it
has grown on you,
it has grown on us, it is growing, choking, but we can breathe, there is
always room for breath,
it will breathe again, it will climb softly over you in the night, while you
are dreaming,
it will be holy when you think it to be holy, a moral, it will come to you
in a story,
a library book, it is closed now, cut off, blackened, it is charred, but
imagine it to return
unburned, fattened, it is asking to be eaten, it is begging to be thought,
it is begging, it is poor,
impoverished, desperate, it almost killed itself but it imagined itself to
keep living and it lives

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