I am often told that love will leave me breathless, But I hope I never know a love so greedy as to steal the air from my chest, For I have memories of a time when my body was oxygen starved And my lungs unable to draw in breath, Bogged down under soupy pneumonia that clung to my innards With vice-like, snotty grips. My mind is sometimes lost in the sensation of frantically Drawing air inward, ******* it into my chest with great gasps that never alleviated the burning of my lungs Or the way pins and needles tingled down my limbs. My brain cells were consumed with desire to force O2 to bind with the red blood cells churning in my veins. The air surrounding me was dense with particles that refused to aid my survival, No matter how much effort I exerted to the contrary. Sweat dripped off my too thin form and pallid skin As I drowned slowly from the inside out in a room full of doctors Until they finally placed the tube back into my throat to breathe for me. The pain receded as oxygen raced back into my cells, And I marveled for a moment at the fact that I could not feel myself breathing, Couldn't feel the rise or fall of my chest. The mark of my vitality was absent, And yet, I was very much alive. I remember what it was to be truly breathless, The blind panic that seized me before finally giving way to a wish for death. It's because of this I hope love never empties my lungs. I want a love that makes breathing feel safe and exciting, A love that feels so gloriously alive that I am acutely aware of my chest rising. Love should always make breathing feel like both a right and a privilege. It is a privilege to love her and be in her presence. But I hope she never leaves me breathless.