the world comes into you

by whitneyrobertshill


the world comes into you
and you go into the world
from so early you can’t remember
the first drink of your mother’s milk
the first cry–waves of sound
like a lamb’s bleet echoing on the walls

and then you learn sometimes
the world is too much to let in
you stop going outside
or eating or even breathing for a time
until your blue lips become the most fearful
sign your father will ever see

but you are learning now
to steady yourself as a container
for the world, of the world,
the current of breath like an ocean
of others entering you–
carbon and dust motes and the smell of damp earth.
and you ride back out into the world
as water vapor or words or sighs
on that same breath-tide