Poetry by Farah Lawal Harris

Breath of Longing


if i inhale deeply enough,
i wonder if i could convince
the scent of you to
live in my system forever.
whenever we are near one another,
i make sure i am connected with
my body so i don’t miss a breath
and a chance of holding you
from each inhale and exhale to the next.
at times i worry because the truth is,
we have nothing in common.
but i sense that if we kiss,
we will have so much in common.
daily life is so commonplace
and my intuition tells me that
if we can stand face to face
and feel each other’s hearts beat,
we can turn in this bleak
existence and exchange it for the
extraordinary.
take a chance,
take my hand
and let’s prove our doubts wrong.
let’s hold on
to the present moment,
not contemplating the nearly impossible future.
for a few fleeting minutes, just picture
now.
don’t wonder how
we’re gonna work out or if
we’re gonna make it.
i can’t take it when you’re away.
stay here, let me pull on your eyes
and make ringlets of O’s with the smoke
of words i am afraid to say.
let me cloud my lungs with aborted displays
of affection
and risk terminal cancer for
refusing to honor my connection
to you.
if i inhale deeply enough,
one day i might be brave enough,
bold enough,
fearless enough
to explain the extent to which i wish
to hold you hostage inside of me.
but until then,
i’ll just keep my distance
and breathe.

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