The Biting Lilt   The Rush

by Elsa Johnson

The first transcendence is a reaching out   as chest

expands to create pull for the first breath     drawing

all that is other inwards            a bellows sparking

marriage  :   air —  fueling flesh     Our beginnings —

like this    depend on words and on the worlds of

others  :   immanence and exhalation similar for tree

and fig and the black-cap chickadee  and us     We

know that the tree breaths silent and unseen and

the nipple of the fig begins at the throat swell

where the bee pillaged pollen and the sweetness

entered and was stored    Desire  :  as in the bright eyes

of the black-cap chickadees whose small breasts 

lifting    take inward clean bare breaths and

Sudden!   Songs of the world fling outward