A Reason to Hold Your Breath

 You may glory in the possibility
that Moses, Aristotle, Augustine and you
have all shared the same restless air,
that even the same atoms have passed
the lips of each, but by equal chance
these ripening tomatoes on my window sill
have passed the lips of Socrates
as poison brewed to make the truth
more palatable, or that Jesus nearly passed
them through His lips, except He knew
the danger of holding on too long.

What makes me fear to take another breath
is knowledge that we all have breathed
and just enough have breathed beyond
their share.  I fear that once
released, re-breathed, they work
again to reconstruct the blackest night.