the wind

1.
the word spirit
means
to breathe


2.
i once believed
i could control the wind

when i was a boy
i put out my hand
the wind took it in hers
and we ran wild together

when i ran she would
  fill the kite of my back
when i leapt she would
  make gravity a suggestion
when i cried she would
  turn it to rain

at home
the yelling was bad
but the silence was worse
so when i needed to escape
i would climb my favourite tree
where i could dance with her in the branches
falling upwards into her deepest sky

the wind whispered in my ear
  and told me where to go
i whispered back to her
  and told her where she had sent me

she was angry one day
i saw how she darkened the sky
but there was no room in our house
for her emotions
  i had to lock her out
    i had no choice
her tears poured and
my hand reached out and
the window was in reach and
the hairs on my body stood on end and

her

    lightning

        struck

she punched me in the chest with thunder
knocked the wind right out of me
knocked me clean away from where
her sorrow could hurt me

i understood
it wasn’t the first time someone had
hit me
  to protect me
hit me
  to teach me
hit me
  to control me

my voice had been so small
i thought if i could hear the wind
in the smallest whisper
i shouldnt have to raise my voice
to be heard
but no one could hear her
and so
no one could hear me

so when she struck me
i knew she controlled me
and i knew
i had no one
left

i had to protect myself
i knew she owned me
had signed her name on my windpipe
so i voided our contract
twisted my throat shut
and watched in the mirror
  as my vision
    went
      black


3.
i still dont remember waking up
she had blown the memory away
she didnt want me to know
it was she who had saved me
even though the howl she left
where a memory had been
could only be hers

but now I knew
  she had made a home in my lungs
but now i knew
  she needed me more than i needed her
but now i knew
  she loved me more than i loved myself
but now i knew
  that i controlled her

i was powerful
i would play my music
  and she would dance for me
i would grab her hand
  and pull her to where i wanted to go
when she opened her sky in rage
i would stand firm
  and bathe
  in her tears

i knew was undeserving
  why did i say control?
i knew was uncivilized
  why did i say her?

i feared that a grown man who believed he could
control the winds
would be controlled himself
locked in a padded cell
so far away from the wind
that a window would appear
a tombstone

i had seen how this world treats
those who can touch the spirits
the only spirits we are allowed to touch
are stuffed into a bottle
and poured out
wish by wish

i had to let her go
  so she became it
became nothing more than a
  high pressure system
life became nothing more than a
  high pressure system
these checks
and bills
and debts
and wills
and friends
and lovers
became nothing more than a
  high pressure system

sometimes we would pass each other
in the street
i would see her playing
  in a corner
making dna spirals out of dead leaves
  making life out of death
while i was
  living life out of breath

drowning in a sea of oxygen
dying of thirst for want of a glass

without her i had to learn how to breathe on my own
when all i ever wanted
was to fall upwards
once more
into her
endless
sky


4.
last week i saw her in the park
she was playing with a child’s balloon
caressing a child’s face
tossing a child’s hair
and before i could stop myself
i said
hello

she looked up and
she smiled and
she ran over to me and
she held me and
she kissed me and
she said
i’ve missed you
and i finally realised

i never controlled the wind
  the wind never controlled me
it was never about control
  in the first place