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Breathe in the thickness, The saturation: the smell of over-proofed yeast;

incense, long-burnt; dust and

cracked spines – and realize there is not enough air in here.

There never was, anywhere.

It’s alright, Become short of breath, tight of chest. Bruise your knees

on the uncushioned kneeler

below the bench before you.

Once able, Think of yourself as Atlas or some other pagan/folklore figure

bending beneath the weight as you unfold one final time. Sit back on your heels.

Sit back and stare. Blur your vision, ignore

the glares as they clamber over you,

ruffling your hair.

Breathe in, close your eyes

Remember that things will certainly weigh less

on the other side.

Chanel Perreault is a poet who uses her writing to slow down and savour the world. As an 'eater,' urban agriculture coordinator, and member of the Food Secure Canada Youth Caucus, she finds particular inspiration in the ways that food connects us to ourselves, to each other, and to the planet.


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