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breathing out 



your dying

was the exhale of my life

smooth and silent.

for months i held                                  

my breath

afraid to


dreading more

pain passing through my

aching torn ribs.


rent in half

to a jagged scrape of me

by your single sigh,

my lungs burned

needing air

wondering if

i could breath

against your absence.

if i drew in

would it be the deadly abyss?


or would i inhale

then again


and again

lustily filling the vacuum

of memory

fighting with shame,

sucking new air

gulping pure life

with reluctant joy?


Still my chest burns

with remembering

your fatherhood,

our children, beds and meals

shared, memories     


ripping open my guilt

sealed lips, convulsing

for air against the stigma

of filling my breast with

the silence of your death

Sharon Lopez Mooney, breathing out, From: "Ginosko Literary Journal", Spring Issue #28, Ed. Robert Paul Cesaretti, Fairfax, CA, Spring 2022, print & online

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