Leave of Absence

(Audio read by Carla Martin-Wood.)

I always knew that world 
breathed without me 


I inhaled 
as if we shared—
as if it casually cared I was in its dream.

Alone, I concede to that phantom 
space, the erased place that once wore me
as it disrobed, unselfconsciously;

knew no trace when I exhaled— 
awake from being involved
in nothing
and giving everything.

—Margot Brown,  Marengo, IL