Alchemy of the lungs

Wonder at the gentle way that
we each perform magic,
as if it is nothing.
We take air into our lungs and
(only a moment late)
exhale something other.
we all live, bored and unthinking,
never quite recognizing
the beauty of our breathing.
even as those faded scholars
had sought to turn lead into gold,
they respired, achieving and uncaring,
too blinded by their seeking of Midas.
How wonderful the
play of light is on our skin,
how beautiful is our peaceful sleeping.
let the earth keep her shimmering metals.
We breathe and live.
That is too much magic, as it is.

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Things can’t go on for ever, she thought. Things pass, things change, she thought, looking up at the ceiling. And where are we going? Where? Where?
— The Years, Virginia Woolf
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