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Breath & Shadow

Winter 2011 - Vol. 8, Issue 1

"Smell of Fireman" and "We have no Earlids"

written by

Akua Lezli Hope

"Smell of Firemen"


Smell of firemen lingers in my bedroom,

the metal guard rail i will wipe

with alcohol, still warm

from their hands

Don't be sorry, they said

for yet another thing i can no longer do

See here - that hole

should be solid,

that screw, stationery,

so you were turning into nothingness

the center could not hold

this minor, yet critical thing.

They pulled the bed, mounded

with books, yarn, clothes, blankets

from the wall, replaced

the broken with the whole



"we have no earlids"


include quiet in your life

hear light and rain sing

Akua Lezli Hope was struck down on November 14, 2005 at 3:04 a.m. by transverse myelitis, the very year she learned to kayak. She is trying to live with the attendant chronic pain, paralysis and, poverty.

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