Discussions of carbon monoxide
leave me lightheaded so early in
the new year. I search for answers
to the expanding riddle of 2017—
breaking spines to get inside the cool,
flat surfaces that cannot fully contain
“celebrations of objects
that have been overlooked
I consult the adjacent how-to column.
I am easily distracted by imperatives.
Hold your breath
while driving through a tunnel.
But don’t turn blue.
Don’t pass out.
Don’t cross the double
yellow line into oncoming traffic.
Learn how to build
an igloo instead.
Make sure the snow hasn’t gone through
a freeze-thaw cycle. The trick
to free diving
is to learn how not to breathe.
Punch a hole near the top.
Push past all feelings.
Forget nearly everything.
Don’t black out. Cut a door as small
as possible. Be liquid as you enter.
Become the sea.
Found elements from “Not Breathing,” by Ryan Bradley (from The New York Times Magazine Letter of Recommendation, 1/1/17) and “How to Build an Igloo,” by Jaime Lowe (from The New York Times Magazine Tip column, 1/1/17)