a slight detour

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struggling to breathe

asphyxiated by concrete curbs

sandwiched between dividers and forked roads

ousted by skyscrapers and armies of malls

she is seen but not felt

like life with no pulse

plastered like the people

in miniskirts and leggings

like gelled hair and large earrings

they laugh because they don’t know spirit

they’ve lost the ability to feel it

confined and conformed

to fit an illusion of progress

a reality of digress

to stamp foreign names on their souls

and tattoo brands on their minds

a rare salaam warms the heart

a towering palm tree soothes the soul

babies tucked in fabric slings, where they are safe

i know where i am but can’t feel her

maybe i should breathe life into her

maybe she has been driven from the city limits

she waits for me

in the mountains

in the bush

in the village

where she breathes freely

with audible exhalations

with offerings of love

ripened fruits and heart songs echoing

there is air for her echo

and space for her breath

i am eager for her

and she is waiting for me…

outside of jakarta

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