John Kaprielian

I Have Decided to Give up Breathing

I have decided to give up breathing.
No, no more air for me; it is thick
with death, a swamp of tiny sweetgum
seedpods set to shred my lungs and
leave me gasping and drowning.

Perhaps I’ll soak in the bath
take in oxygen through my skin
like a frog or grow gills and
return to the sea, to which my
father was inexorably drawn.

No more will I feel that luxurious
inrush of spring air moist and
earthen and spiritually arousing;
now, drawn through an ill-fitting mask
it is only a dry lungful of terror.


John Kaprielian has been writing poetry for over 30 years. A photo editor for over three decades, he is now pursuing a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science. He has been published in Minute Magazine, The Blue Nib, Thema, Blue Mountain Review, The Five-Two, Down in the Dirt, What Rough Beast, and The New Verse News. He lives in Putnam County, NY, with his wife, teen son, and assorted pets.

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