My breathing system seems to be
these lungs within; without: those trees

There are mountains in this pic of withered leaves—
as from a satellite


in shadows
they recede

but I see
brittle peaks

bright spines
curl from dead stems
dry earth desiccated by the practices of men:

their filaments have exhausted life and breath,
sucked dioxide carbon in,
transmuted it like alchemists then
expired it as oxygen

the dry lungs of trees,
are alveoli complements
of lungs close and tight
as twin sisters

when one dies
the other withers

by Jim Culleny


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