Inhale, Exhale, Repeat: A Poem

Inhale, exhale, repeat.

Waking up is progress, continue.

Breathe and get up, repeat.

Always remember: continue.

 

If you forget, perhaps it is better

Than continuing patterns that make no sense.

If you forget, maybe you can be healed

from wounds you’ll never remember.

 

Inhale, exhale, repeat.

Do you remember how to breathe?

If you don’t, know it’ll set you free. 

If the words lose all meaning,

Remember this feeling: 

 

When you hear the waves breaking, 

feel the sand between your toes,

smell the salt in the air,

your arms outstretched—

 

When you feel joy bubbling through your body,

peace crackling at your fingertips,

your friends pull you close,

you are the only thing that matters.

 

When you’ve survived the worst, 

and you are stronger than before,

know the freedom flowing through your hair, 

the wind blowing past, carrying you forward. 

 

Inhale.

Exhale.

Repeat.

 

That is the feeling to remember,

when the words make no sense.

The waves and the peace and the freedom, 

they are the memories that whisper:

 

“Existing is easy, living is hard,

Forgetting is relief,

Remembering is freedom.

Inhale, exhale, repeat.”

 

When language fades from use,

When words are worthless,

When tongues fall silent,

 

Remember.

 

The waves the tears the sand the cries the salt the wounds,

arms reaching out, hearts shattered,

joy bubbling up, anger bubbling over, 

Strength and loss and freedom and destruction and peace and pain.  

 

Inhale, exhale, repeat.

 

Continue this pattern, these memories;

never forget, though life brings pain.

Fight the struggles, for it is worth it.

Remember when you knew what it was to

inhale, exhale, repeat.

 

And when you can’t,

chase this feeling—

the salt and wind and waves.