For cystic fibrosis patient Caitlin O’Hara and her organ donor

You wait breathless
and await death
elsewhere. For where else
would you catch new breath?

How the surgeon makes the incision,
opens her chest
and delivers the lungs,
bloodied like twin newborns.

Later, swaddled in your bosom,
your non-self and self
kick side-by-side
until you suck air and blow.

She closes her eyes
as you light a fire on the beach.
Now the wood coals flare up
to your bellowed puffs

and her body of orange light
flickers in the breeze. Night
becomes day and a gull
guts a mussel with its beak

where the tide withdraws.
You begin where she ends
until a cord deep inside you
is cut and your hands feel

for the umbilici:
a scar on your chest,
a hole in the stem of a feather
that drops from the sky

into the hollow of the halves
of an empty shell in the sand.