The Air
St. Johns Fog. Source:

The Air

is warm with those still waiting

to be born. They flit past us


like mosquitoes, then scramble—

tenuous as the station


at the far end of the dial.

Bloodless, they’re blood to us all.


By winter they lift upward

slowly, through the grainy peaks


of snowdrifts or a streetlamp’s

conical glow. How small we


must seem then, how countable—

strolling home between headphones,


or desk bound, ballpoints locked in

crosswords or 1099s.


It’s only when we couple

that we too diffuse coolly,


and a voice peels from their whirl-

wind, convinced—if just briefly—


that flesh is not poured out in

small and divisible cups.


As for you—whom we address

now, though you waft through neon,


steam vents, and leaves—remember

this companionless whisper


and not our paired hands, entwined

still as we drift into sleep.


We’ll both wake to so many

solitary tomorrows,


believing—if just briefly—

in a world so beautiful


that you could be assembled

from its vaporous remains.


—Derek Mong

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