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Breath My Only Boundary

A Poem

Published on:
October 8, 2020
Read time:
1 min.
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I am a mute and silent prisoner
bound beneath ebony ocean depths
dull obsidian within me

Lips, shackled, tongue, tethered
cheeks, shame-faced
and waxen in complexion
from lack of light and of redemption

There is no song here.

I bite my lip, seeking some sensation
savor the copper tang of deprivation

Pennies on my tongue, bitter
Marbles in my mouth, muffled
Anvil on my ankles, leaden

Tears tangle in my hair
Hope mangled by my fear
Can holiness reach even here?

He says yes.

The sky brightly beckons
Would I dare rise?
I yearn toward yellow but my fear fetters
the wicked waves thrust me deeper
send me tumbling
yet I clamor, kick, and climb

Rising, soaring, ascending, roaring
For truth is not a tether.

Sin-soaked and vice-choked,
I break the surface
I confess the bitter briny sea
And gulp instead deliverance

Breath now my only boundary.

The taste of mercy, honey-sweet begins to flood
an ocean of depravity, brackish, wild and stinking

Until now.

The sun sways like a daffodil above me
               showers silken warmth upon me
               sparks worship deep within me
This is glory.

My lungs and heart are full to bursting
My mouth, once desert, no longer thirsting
My first song is surrender
I am free.

The phrase “Breath my only boundary” was inspired by “Breath as a Boundary,” the title of a portrait by Kenturah Davis.

Christine Prater
Christine Prater is a poet, songwriter and theology geek. Her passion for inviting folks to the  kingdom table drives her studies at Dallas Theological Seminary and fuels her advocacy for  the forsaken and forgotten. Christine lives in the Lake Travis area of Austin, Texas with her  handsome hubby and two fur-babies (one sinner, one saint). She’s a lover of awkward  conversations about thought-provoking topics and anything that takes place outdoors or  requires words. You can find and follow on her Website, Instagram, and Twitter.

Cover image by Jonatán Becerra

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