Lines on life and breathing


When light plates a thing,
it will, in some sense, forever be plated,

forever be captured and living
and spoken.

How much of what we see
will we also see
in the afterlife?
you asked.
And how much can we pack to take with us?

If light can be framed, it can be kept,
though not the filtered kind,

the bits that waffle through the kitchen
window screens in foreign shapes and sentences
over bagels in the breakfast nook.

There is a level to the solid world
that the dead familiarize as a breathing,
and the waking hide in their coat pockets

unearth it when you can, or you will be forever
in shallow pools of water

asking about the sound your skin makes when you shake it clean.

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Jess Mansour Scherman
Jess Mansour Scherman is a firm believer that we can see everything through the lens of nature. She finds her inspiration through trees and mountain air, and also through reading the writings of Annie Dillard and Charles Wright. She lives in Minneapolis with her husband and their Chinese goldfish, Anders.


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