Stealing Breath

Stealing Breath

A Story by Kees Kapteyn

 

 

 

 

I wake up before you do, to the tapping of the blinds on the windowsill. Air flows through the open window; invisible, insipid, scentless and yet still here.   Its presence is only in its effect.   Daylight comes in along with it, the ignition of life. Outside, I can hear the transit of the city, the morning rush underway.  For moments, I watch your face while you sleep. It’s so pretty with its peaceful, childlike visage. I lean over and kiss you on the lips, but you flinch, kissed out of sleep.
“Don’t,” you say, rolling over and away from me. You don’t like it when I wake you with a kiss. You say it steals your breath, that I inhale the breath that you’re taking. Is your breath so elusive that a kiss robs you of it? I want so much affection from you, but you pull back when I’m excessive. “You’ll survive.” you say, though I always retort with how I don’t want to just survive, I want to live. Whenever we think of breathing, it seems we also think of suffocation. I think of my mother, her breath shortening like a wick, burning out ‘til it was exhausted.   For days afterwards, I was ashamed of breathing until she came to me in a dream and told me:  I am allowed to breathe. Breathe, Kees.
I lay in bed next to you, listening to you snore softly. I love your snore. It’s never bothered me.  It’s your sound, affirming your presence next to me. It goes along with your warmth, your skin on mine under the sheets we share. I yawn, my brain needing the oxygen, a lion’s wide maw, drawing in as much air as I can inhale.  I am awake now, thinking of all the things I need to do, imagining my first cup of coffee, the life-giving first sip that puts me online for the day.  My mind races through its thoughts.  It’s a Sunday, but I want to do some writing and get on my bike. I can hear the world outside, feel the mildness of the morning.
I start to slide out of the sheets and suddenly you are reaching to me, holding my arm and pulling me in. I flow into the momentum of your insistence, pressing my side against your breast as you lay your head on mine.   I know you are listening to my heart and I offer it to you, sighing to your warmth and attention. Your breath soon lapses back into the soft rasp of sleep and I stay with you, long enough to know you are safe and comfortable, before I kiss your forehead and slide out of bed. I enter the air of the house, moving through the exchange of open windows, gathering myself together to start my day. There is much to do.

© 2008 Kees Kapteyn


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Reviews

Yes she's read this, as well as everything I've written. She brings alot of poetry into my life and I'd be ignorant not to lay it down on paper. She actually loves being the subject of alot of my writing- thought it, she never has to question what's going through my mind LOL.

Posted 11 Years Ago


Awe. Kees, I already knew how much you love her but this is so touching. Has she read this? Does she read all your writing? Thank you for sharing a little of your love and your day ....

Posted 11 Years Ago


Such beauty in your words, feeling for someone like that, a connection, and a feeling as we
begin a new day, mixed in with memories and words.
Very enjoyable.


Posted 11 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

what a wonderful story. it reminds me of better days when in the wee hours of morning, still half asleep, someone wanted me enough to not let me go. times that i needed to remember now. than you for sharing this lovely 'lil bit.

Posted 11 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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4 Reviews
Added on October 7, 2008
Last Updated on October 7, 2008

Author

Kees Kapteyn
Kees Kapteyn

Ottawa, Canada



About
Resides in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Self-published his zine 'rhododendron' and two chapbooks: 'grubstreet' and 'coffee salt.' Has been published in ditchpoetry.com, blueskiespoetry.ca, Novella, Corv.. more..

Writing
Aphelion Aphelion

A Story by Kees Kapteyn