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Visible Breath
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These dead leaves are hypnotized by snow.
She watches from the window, sees
numb fires of clouds becoming black stains,
oracles of birds. She imagines before
and after, as though they are as tactile
as the greenhouse where, by day, light
sweats and short-sighted winter loses
itself in fevered loam. She was with him
then alone. The varicose veins of days
meander beneath the skin, this sermon
of stars when she is sleeping, this breath
she holds in abeyance in her lungs,
all the earth a sustenance of dead
grass and drifts against the fence,
sleeping the way a pickup on the highway
spins its pirouette on ice before coming
to a graceful stop beside a bar ditch. He touched
her arm then walked away. In dreams there is
a vortex of weeds at the yard’s edge,
and snow falls from an invisible mask,
as far away as a small confessional
of geese, the retreating V bound
to the earth and yet escaping it.
Once he seemed as familiar as a red
sun in a gray lake. Now he is stone
and smoke and hemorrhaging clouds.

Doug Ramspeck  

Doug Ramspeck is the author of five poetry collections. His most recent book, Original Bodies, was selected for the Michael Waters Poetry Prize and is forthcoming by Southern Indiana Review Press. Two earlier books also received awards: Mechanical Fireflies (Barrow Street Press Prize), and Black Tupelo Country (John Ciardi Prize). Individual poems have appeared in journals that include Kenyon Review, Slate, Southern Review, Georgia Review, AGNI, and Alaska Quarterly Review. He directs the Writing Center and teaches creative writing at The Ohio State University at Lima.

Copyright © 2014 University of Tampa Press
Project MUSE® - View Citation
Doug Ramspeck. "Visible Breath." Tampa Review 47.1 (2014): 27-27. Project MUSE. Web. 25 Apr. 2014. <http://muse.jhu.edu/>.
Ramspeck, D.(2014). Visible Breath. Tampa Review 47(1), 27. University of Tampa Press. Retrieved April 25, 2014, from Project MUSE database.
Doug Ramspeck. "Visible Breath." Tampa Review 47, no. 1 (2014): 27-27. http://muse.jhu.edu/ (accessed April 25, 2014).
T1 - Visible Breath
A1 - Doug Ramspeck
JF - Tampa Review
VL - 47
IS - 1
SP - 27
EP - 27
PY - 2014
PB - University of Tampa Press
SN - 2326-4101
UR - http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/tampa_review/v047/47.ramspeck.html
N1 - 47/48, 2014
ER -


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