Space Made of Breath – a poem by Maija Haavisto

Space Made of Breath

I emptied the cup and then
poured out the emptiness
but then I looked in and
there was still more

what was your original face
before you were born
and what was the original
face of this cup when it was
still just the dust of the earth?
what was the "i" before it
grew into a self-important capital?
lost its dot into a glazing
that wanted to shine even
though it was just earth
cradled between someone's hands
a container for emptiness
and you can never pour it out
it's too full of itself like I'm
too full of "I" and dust

I am Earth that wants to be
cradled but my bones are
too full of emptiness
and when you look at my breath
it disappears, it was never there
you can't add air into air
and make it separate
why do we try so hard to
draw our diaphragms into
space made of breath?

Maija Haavisto has had two poetry collections published in Finland: Raskas vesi (Aviador 2018) and Hopeatee (Oppian 2020). In English her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in e.g. Moist, Capsule Stories, Soul-Lit, ShabdAaweg Review, The North, Streetcake, ANMLY, Eye to the Telescope, Shoreline of Infinity and Kaleidoscope. Follow her on Twitter at: 

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