A merciful cord

We are mammals, my friend
with emphysema and I, so,
like a tightrope walker over
Niagara reels in his journey,
step by step, we traverse our
passage, breath by breath, along
an invisible cord of continuous
air, from the moment we set
the placenta aside until
we ripen to rejoin it.

The cord of air upon which
we depend materialises
like magic in the desert
between each puff and huff,
an indulgence to sustain us
to the next narrow step.

And it is in our nature,
when we find a good book,
or a friend, to want to continue
to a later end, to take it
to a proper finish, but we know
to ask not, for when the cord frays,
it frays for us, O gasping
Everyman, it will snap.

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