I’ve left the house where I abide.
I can no longer live inside.
The dust has got the best of me—
my lungs, and all the rest of me.
Two weeks of tile and concrete dust
have all built up until I must
admit my lungs gave up at last
with breath a function of the past.
I made it to the pharmacy
before my breath gave out on me.
Once there, gasping, voiceless, paler,
I pantomimed for an inhaler,
then asked how to make use of it
and for a stool on which to sit—
all with gestures wild and manic.
Attempts to breathe brought only panic.
A half hour more I struggled for air.
Clearly I needed help and care.
“Tranquilo, senora,” the store clerk urged,
every time my panic surged
because I could not breathe again.
I tried and tried, but all…
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