He keeps chewing on his bloody hand
from the recent war while another war is brewing.
He feels old and full of ennui when he stares at an empty sky
and only sees a slim glimmer of white cloud in the distance.
He thinks about the next soldiers forced to climb over a mountain
to kill strangers they’re taught to hate.
Maybe they never got as much loving as they need to breathe freely.
He reminds himself that air is free, and all he has to do to feel whole
is to awaken his lungs—and remind them to reach for the cosmic air.
He takes slow, deep inhalations—one after the other, mumbling his mantra,
until he sets his heart on fire, home again with himself, as good as new.