by Alice Hill-Woods
The sea holds elkhorn coral
which looks like bronchiole,
ferny, anchored to the deep.
My chest feels the strained polyps
when I’m running for the bus,
tangled kelpie on thin lines.
I felt that I was also turning blue
during the asthma attack
the dust and swell
the forced retreat
wishing for a hinge of day to catch
in my jaw,
seeing the minutes collapse in sand.
I have held fear in my trachea
for too long. Now I let the surges come
and wash rhythm across my pleura,
sink the compression, turn my gills
to the abyss for slow strive
Hear my soft, elongated song in the bath
rush under the tap
as I hold then release.