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Audio: Read by the author. 


You are two atomized
in one, our molecules
become wild air that whims
the world in newborn bright
and brittle hues; we break
for you, we inhale all
the vapored shades of want
and risk. Now our desires
ride the currents of wind
the way knife rides a wound.
You unrunt the heart, turn
blood to starred conveyor,
circulate the holy
granules of hydrogen
pumping a pained golden
knowledge of what this is—
this life more sacred here
than oxygen inhaled
as an unending prayer,
a votive burst into flame,
ordinary argon
transmuted into hymn
and exhaled as blessing.
Just think, little one:
we share this atmosphere
with eons of lilies,
ages of dragonflies,
with ghosts, magma, maggots,
blackbirds clamped together
mating on the unkempt
front lawns of our neighbors,
our inspiration linked
by the strange twilight map
hemming the horizon
inside our dreams for you.
What I mean to say is:
how amazing you are
at four months old, your toes
wriggling a paradise,
your sweet gums, your swirl of
black hair, your every inch
a gasp, a graze of depths
too great to grasp, complete:
this air we breathe is you
wintering in our lungs,
moonlight on fields of snow.




Dante Di Stefano is the author of Ill Angels (Etruscan) and Love Is a Stone Endlessly in Flight (Brighthorse). He holds a PhD in English literature from Binghamton University and is the poetry editor for Dialogist.



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