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Cocoon Lungs

 

The day we met, after not meeting—

me, the butterfly, with a quiet past,

you, catchy, like a tune; I forgot

how the knotted, unripe days from when I came

I was barely there and still already breathing.

Mother’s heartbeat was my teacher.

I was good. I danced all twelve steps.

Doctors said I was a natural.

Father said I got my brains from him—

I guessed my birth was a magic trick;

I discovered breathing around you,

in my tight, button-less dress,

swaddling my body like saltwater pruned skin.

I grew bigger, grew wide, because I couldn’t in height,

and even under the then fragile sun

two mountains with peaks exploded, a cave swelled,

while underneath, in a hollow cavity,

I filled with a drunkenness,

the air, I suppose, red, full-bodied and heavy,

moving inside me like a hurricane.

 

(Without the moon,

the stars don’t know who they are.)