English #frapalymo: Stolen Air

Lift the axe above your head and
smite the breath from me.
If a tree falls in the forest, and
no one’s there to hear it,
does it still make a sound?
I listen to the trees’ cry as the air
around me thins. Skyscrapers rises
to poke the roof of Heaven
while children wheeze, inhale dust
no longer rooted to the ground.
I . . . Can’t . . . Breathe.
Do you feel that? Your lungs
shriveling, breaking off the trachea,
flapping over your rib cage to hang,
as sheets pinned to a clothesline.
You wheel a respirator behind you,
oxygen flowing from tubes into
flared nostrils. You strike, blade
against bark, oblivious to the
world suffocating, as the last
withered tree topples.

© 2015 Nortina Simmons


Written for Frau Paulchen’s Lyrik Monat, which translates from German to Mrs. Paulchen’s Poetry Month. Today’s prompt comes from the questionnaire of Max Frisch: “Who do you think owns the air?”

I think everyone owns the air, but many are greedy.

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