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Exist / Dwell / Live

We exist.

Breathe the air and

drink the water.

Do the laundry

and the cooking

and the thousand other tasks

that we’ve decided existence demands.


But this is the skeleton of being.

An everyday trudge

through a taking world

that doesn’t care to dream,

and spends our broken hours

in the cold streets

of other people’s lies.


Existing is the least we can do.


So we dwell.

Find a space and

stay for a time,

hiding from the wind

and fast wolves.

Set our memories on a shelf

so we can dust them off and call it home.


But this is only the comfort of things.

A listless balm of

tired sanctuary

that leaves us empty

and yearning for more

even as we

paint our lives on the walls.


Dwelling is a safe, slow death.


But we can live.

Grab a deep joy

and bite down hard.

Sing a story

for ourselves

and put our arms around a moment

that moves us with a word to dancing tears.


This is a hot breath building in the throat.

A solace of fire

to share with the world

or hold between hearts,

and a long-drawn draught

steeped in meaning.

This is our time made whole.


Living is a hard-lit flame.


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