Marianne Shaneen

The Peekaboo Theory

I saw my breath today:

your absence has weathered its first change of season
buzzer rang, again not you, again mailman. drops of sweat on
my forehead betrayed my hopes while simultaneously becoming
sign of hope's betrayal: skin weeping or, I was wept

to perspire: to breathe
of the wind, to breathe or blow
gently through
(rare, obs.)
of the body, to exhale
while watching mailman as if witnessing last appearance of a
soon-to-be-extinct Ring Pink Pearly Mussel (Obovaria
retusa), a Karner Blue Butterfly (Lycaeides melissa
samuelis), or a Chittenango Ovate Amber Snail (Succinea
chittenangoensis), a breeze dispersing seed stole my
forehead's salty beads and the subsequent disequilibriating
chill generated the dynamism necessary for all life, which
in turn called my body to respond, homeostasis.

if you had been there I would have asked you, to what degree
is it the pressure of the wind that erodes the subtle
changes in my face from day to day?

air's surround constantly forming the specific shape of your
omission around me. could we invent a mechanism to record
what wind has passed through, worn away and distributed, to
detect and trace our longing for each other in the history
of wind?

if wind is the breath of g-d, then do our movements through
g-d's respiration act as musical instrument or vocal
apparatus, determining and altering the sounds, the words,
that g-d is able to utter?

going back inside I thought I felt your whisper in my ear
and turned to answer, as it was coming out of my mouth I
realized that although it was already late afternoon your
name was the first word I had spoken