with every breath in,
blood brightens from oxygen,
the heart chimes, arteries loop
liquid life into the overworked liver,
beleaguered brain, strained muscles,

a lavish sup of nourishment and drive
all the way into tight squeeze capillaries,
a spelunker’s journey without a headlamp,
to disappear into this invisible network
of billions of black holes,

a leap of faith into the upside down,
yin side of yang circulation
where blood darkens to a spent wine
as if it spilled out of the mouth of a drunk
who’s fallen onto bruised knees

limping sometimes on the return trip,
wasted, venous, hungry and thirsty,
dropping off some pieces of dirty laundry
in the kidneys, letting the heart
lift the rest of its weary load of CO2

to new redemption, exhalation,
atonement, clothed again
in brilliant scarlet raiment,
a life and death mini-drama
played out once every minute,

pushed to the edge
where an exchange takes place,
a miracle happens,
like water into wine,
and wine into blood.