Right Now

Right Now
When breath becomes air it 
means you are dead.
So how do I stay in my body 
right here and right now?

With my breath.

It sounds ridiculous, I know, or 
maybe yogic
but this involuntary function
controlled by the 
medulla oblongata
is out of my control.

I’ve held my breath, nearly 
bursting my lungs as I trained 
myself to swim 
Fifty yards. 

Holding it feels a lot like 
controlling it, but I know
that when I surfaced
I gasped.  It wasn’t up to me,
because it was still breath then,
not air.

When my breath becomes air
I hope I’m not scared. I hope
I let it go out like a whisper,
trusting that there’s something
more than breathing.

But that time is not right now.
For now, I put my hand on my
my soft, animal belly,
and inhale until I’m full.
“I’m still here,” I remind myself.
“I’m still here.”
-Laurie Benson©