In any room,
it does not matter which colors are used or
which carpet is laid,
in any room where teeth grind together,
or heavy hands grow into tree stumps,
I lose my breath.
It is not just any breath, either.
It is the breath that keeps me,
that prays for me
during moments that the stone ships sail in,
it is the breath that I hold
when dog-faced warriors
chop off my family’s heads,
it is the breath I caught when
unwanted hands disturbed my
and it is in any room painted any color,
where deep red blows flushed faces into tight lips
pound voices of hammer,
roaring chunks of stew
into my tiny chest,
I do not know if it is I, or if
my breath loses me.