Denise Bergman

Hints of Not Letting Go

her wrist veins blue, a woman lets go
the trapeze bar

rubs chalk into her palms

wipes chalky palms on her silver sequin leotard

elsewhere a woman keeps breathing /

breathing
she breathes / breathes
into a broken child hit by a hit-and-run

elsewhere a subway rider Jay St. to West 4th
grips the bar above the seats
her blouse lifts
look, a big firm belly
her other hand
holds her little boy’s hand
and in his other hand
Tony Tiger, paws on the sticky floor

hold on
just hold on there
hang in there
just hang in / hang on

mission control, hear me

tell me where in this vast empty vat of blue
is the point of contact

fender license plate
imprint on his backpack shoulder arm
on his jacket the pavement sticks

she pinches his nose
lifts his chin, goes at it until with her breath
his breath swirls

hand over hand over air
she lets go the volume of inbetween
before she grabs the trapeze bar

toes on the platform
wrist veins blue
her leotard is silver sequin
she rubs chalk from the bucket hanging on a cord
onto her palms and shakes
her chalky palms

hints of not letting go
hints of we’re still
straphanging
ankles wedging the Key Foods bag upright

this is mission control
do you hear me

do you hear me through the spinning
orbit hum, do you hear me in the hum, do you
hear me counting down re-entry
ten nine eight

she breathes into the unbreathing
reluctant recipient

hit and run boy
running from the revolving
unconscious door

she breathes into him
until official help
arrives and takes him away

 

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