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George O'Connell


March has been roaming the avenues all morning,
the tired, grimy ice losing its grip,
the curbs a glitter of runnels.
My feet skim the asphalt
as every few blocks I push through
wafts of weekend laundry,
dryers venting steam
and the raveled ends of threads.
Downwind, the scented kiss of Cling Free
drifts its negligee of filaments
and something else unseen
above the brilliant streets,
the dank and ponding lawns,
all of it going
wherever smoke goes,
arm in arm with the long cortege
of my own exhalations
shredding in the breeze.

My breathing's deep, rhythmic;
no doubt I take some in,
say the smallest human
iota, a single cell
just cycled on delicate.
Even if it stays it goesóso little flesh
rests long, and this too must keep
yearning for others, perhaps
for all it would take
such skies as these
to shape a whole, ghostly body,
its phantom legs at last aloft,
a south wind
to sing its hair gold,
its hands so vast and full of light
they're spilling.

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