Holding On and Letting Go |
by Adina Cassal

Feel the air
as it caresses the philtrum
on its approach to the nose.
Is it warm, cold, light, heavy?
Does it enter each nostril evenly
like a well-played Boccherini Minuet
or is it jagged, strained, like
the minutes of a zealous student
fighting for each note?
Feel it enter the unsung chambers
of the nasal cavities,
and feel its fingers explore
the long passage of the throat
as if coaxing a cry
or a laugh or a sigh or
whispered words
that only lovers would hear.
Let it fill the lungs,
so they expand like an idea,
pregnant with a story
that captures the ribcage,
the belly and even
the patient pelvis.
Imagine its light in every artery
and every cell, and then
hold it, like you would hold
the mystery of life.
Hold it one more second and
let it go.
Let go of pain, let go of joy,
let go of assignments and of desires,
let go of wars, of weather,
of prayers. Let go of shorelines.
And as you let
yourself be de-breathed,
let yourself dissolve
into the universe.
Feel the hunger
of a child in tattered clothes
in a cardboard crib;
and then – again -

Adina Cassal resides in the Washington DC area, where she works in human services. She has had a life long interest in literature and she thanks a wonderful workshop leader for helping her find new ways to play with the written word. Adina grew up in several countries and this is an important influence in her work. She is also regularly inspired by the people she serves and the many writers she admires.