"-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN"> Frigg | Spring/Summer 2023 | Lung Capacity | Michael T. Young
artwork for Michael T. Young's poem Deep Breathing Exercise

Lung Capacity
Michael T. Young

My breath joins a wind
full of the scent of hyacinth
dusting the fence posts, then
sweeps away dandelion spores,
scattering them
over the neighboring yards.
A deeper part of me
wanders with these diffusions,
seeds the spaces
framed in shadows, even the crevices
in brick under vine-encrusted facades,
even windows thumped in the light.
It’s an idea of freedom
before there is root and stem,
before someone enters the room.
Like wind, my breath passes,
trailing in its nearness
a loss of something I’m still
trying to name. Like my breath,
wind sometimes hushes the birds,
falls still in mid-phrase, and what is held
in the tufts of the butterfly bush
stirs as the air stirs in that interlude
before a flock bursts into flight.

Michael T. Young’s Comments

One of my favorite movies is Mind Walk, in which a physicist explains general systems theory to a politician and a poet. In one scene, the physicist explains that at the subatomic level, we are physically sharing photons and electrons with everything and everyone. “Ultimately, whether we like it or not, we’re all part of one inseparable web of relationships.” This poem, like “Deep Breathing Exercise,” is a part of exploring that interconnectedness.

Table of Contents

Frigg: A Magazine of Fiction and Poetry | Issue 61 | Spring/Summer 2023