//terrell morrow

When I was ten, I had my very first asthma attack. 
The feeling of not being able to clinch the air to breathe was like ripping all you believe in out of existence.

God is like oxygen, we can't see him, but we are aware that he exists.

One minute off into these mesospheric conditions of damnation
and I lose consciousness
and wake up in a room with a machine doing my (gasp) praying for me.

God is like oxygen, but life doesn't make it so easy to breathe.

I was ten years old and what little God I had believed in showed me how easy it was to lose sight if we continue to take what we got for granted.
Breathe for granted. 
I can't breathe; I'm panting.
I'm swimming in this pool of suffocation. 
The feeling of not being able to breathe — grasp this air, breathe, I gasp in prayer.

God is a lot like oxygen, receive him in heavy gasps and catching Holy Ghost resembles panic attacks.

I am 19 now, and nine years ago starts to look a lot more like present day
— I don't breathe so easy sometimes.

The days I fixate most on hail from Mendota Street
Days my mother showed her strength the most
Days she didn't rely on anybody for anything 
Contrast to days like this where she can't rely on her own body's antibodies
attack her antigens.

I get a phone call from her that makes me reevaluate life like, 
funny how a phone call makes you reevaluate life.

She asks me how I've been ... And it just now becomes apparent to me that
We hadn't talked in weeks.

She says she's weak — the words "I just found out I have lupus"
left her lips with such subtlety like worrying wasn't her thing.

The words "I just found out I have lupus" leaves her lips
with match-striking subtlety gets louder than a bomb.

Rendering me unconscious and suddenly I'm ten again ...
Days from Mendota Street start to feel more like a day at Lake Mendota and
I can't fucking swim!
It's getting harder to (gasp) pray.

God is like oxygen but my lungs can't tread this baptism.

On August 30th Slam lost a lung.
Poetry palpitation somehow pulsates slower now
I breathe as deeply as I think these days and
that very same struggle I had during that asthma attack;
that not being able to grasp gasp city streets slickened before we can finally get a financial grip builds like smokers soot on my lungs.

Suddenly, my air has become as thick as a cinderblock and
I can no longer pray meaning I can no longer breathe.

See, God is like oxygen so losing my religion must be me drowning.

Asphyxiating doesn’t feel like a hell anymore.
And they say once you stop struggling, and the water fills your lungs,
You experience a certain euphoria.

I just guessing that
I'm praying to oxygen that my mother gets to leave with that same inner peace.

//Terrell Morrow is an Aquarian performance writer, recording artist, barber, and InsideOut poet. Check out his music here.

This piece is the fourth of a four-part series. To view the first piece (published in Issue VIII), click here; to view the second piece (published in Issue IX), click here; to view the third piece (published in Issue X), click here.


<<back to issue xi                                                                        POST A COMMENT >>