“Exhalation”
by Deborah J. Brannon

I walked down the path
though I was frightened
–a thousand smoke-colored birds
flew up
startled (a sudden exhalation)
and I thought that must be
what terror looked like
in the hearts of the great.
The soft creature of me paused
a great tension stirring in my thighs:
I could feel the furious blood
in those desperate bodies
winging across the still bloodless
sky.
My eyes fell to a red sun rising
–but the blue of the sky could not leave
my eyes.
I kept walking.

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