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Breath & Shadow

July 2008 - Vol. 5, Issue 3

"A Sense of Man", "You and You", and "Essay"

written by

Stephanie Green

"A Sense Of A Man"


Today I have a sense of a man on the corner

a man I walk past ever so often

click-clacking along as I do

that scent of unwashed whiskers, his razor blunt

from scraping forty years of dirt off his shoes

clasping fingers that reach, grasping at that innate

logic of superiority, but I know where I am heading

I am never lost

Today I have a sense of a man who wonders

how I can walk so fast with that stick

and I always have some place to be

although, he has his little corner

sitting by that concrete garden

Today I can smell the ocean, clear and salty and refreshingly cold

but perhaps…that’s his lunch cocooned inside

Yesterday’s news

Tomorrow I have a sense of a man who’s missing

from his corner, but he’s just down the road

putting his name down to break apples

from branches, lifting boxes for old ladies, flipping burgers

for Jesus. He followed where I led

He followed and he said

"for You know where you’re heading

you are never lost."



"You and You"


Night envelopes a quiet suburb

and inside a box high above a messy

garage, we sleep - and dream perhaps -

fingers entwined, ambling thin lines

between this world and another, more fragile

existence. Turning, you sigh, you and your eyelids flutter

against my shoulder and an arm casually

gropes for my hip bone

such a feeling of content, as a cold orange juice on a hot day

as the first spin of a new CD, or the smell of a fresh dug grave In spring. Such a feeling, as you and your finger traces my navel, as

> we link arms and walk away from those who disbelieve us

- as we shake off the sunshine and step into the deep -

submersing darkness. Soft clouds of grey hues, and grey on grey on

grey, swarm about, and a vivid moon dances

patterns over the bedsheets

and a creeper, branches unfurling

climbs through the lattices

within me, I’ve waited, such antici…

pation. My, how I have grown and aged, and my face feels old and withered

and my eyes are tired, and long for sleep

yet you and you believe I am beautiful, and can’t sleep

yet, not until you have seen me safely into

effervescence - the world beyond.

your eyes rest not, vigilant

doing the work of two

and I, I will cook you dinner, burning my finger

on the stovetop, and I will give you love

enduring, and I, I will water the creepers

so they will never wilt

You, You and You, I can see

in all the colours in existence

in all the beautiful hues of grey and grey and grey, You,

You I do love. Beside you I do sleep this night





My essay once resided

in my head, with all my other meandering thoughts

about the government and how they could control us

by injecting mind serum into the boxes on pedestrian crossings

so when you put your finger on the button,

that would inject the serum,

then they could tell you to do things

and you would have to do them

whether you wanted to or not, and whether

my boyfriend’s t-shirt really says

"and your point is…?"


"andy, our point is…?"

which means something completely different

and just who is this andy?

He’s been at the cheerios again

and what’s all this fuss about global warming

although it is harder to sleep at night

now that my torso sticks to the mattress…

my essay was written

on a university laptop

thanks to Mr. Gates’ delightful program

with it’s concise and accurate spellchecker

My essay now resides

in a brown cubby hole

with the class timetable

and maybe a forlorn love letter

and one of those forms that students fill in

when they’ve had a cold and don’t want to sit

the exam, and they go to the Doctor and cough, and splutter

and feign a headache, and nausea, and talk about their stressful lovelife, and the Doctor, who really needs a coffee

because they’d been late to work that morning and starbucks was out

of that caramel stuff

- takes pity, and signs, even though they know the student is faking it

oh, I do hope my essay is ok

I had a form to fill out once

when Richard died

I had an A plus


Now my essay is gone

and I feel kind of empty inside

but next week, I have an exam

and a real headache

Author Blurb

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