The false smoke of her breath in winter
was sole proof that we were alive,

that the world still held some sense of empathy its cold dead grip.

Watching the lighthouse rhythm of her breath on the frozen air
as footfalls in the snow marked time in our shared staccato pace

movement was the only guard against that growing entropy.

The staggered pulse of her breath in spring
slipped between angry phrases,
leaving no imprint,

as her figure diminished into the gathering dark.

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