National Poetry Month Day 15: "Exercises in Breathing" by Kimberly Southwick
knowing the rules is not enough. when it snows, it doesn’t always mean it. when it snows, sometimes it snows for the museums and sometimes it snows for the papers and sometimes it snows for only her majesty, the sea.
following the rules is not enough. when he breathes— remember this one please—when he breathes he breathes for himself. when he breathes he doesn’t breathe for her or for you or for his son or for his future sons, when he breathes, he breathes for how it feels to be standing in the public gardens knee-deep in snow, smoking a cigarette and watching the statues still and cold and unbreathing and having it mean something.
breaking the rules is not enough. the sea is his mother. the sea gives back in fish. the sea tells you: this is what your voice sounds like. the sea reminds you to breathe. the sea, the sea. she knows the rules are never enough.