Weighing The Air

written by, and read by, © Peter Howard; first published in The Interpreter's House magazine, then in collection Weighing The Air

It is possible, if you catch enough unawares,
squeeze it tightly, and then, before it has time to
think, pop it on the scales
and take a reading.

Then you need to let it breathe:
release it carefully underwater, so it bubbles
upwards like a drowning hero
being measured for a suit.

Now you have its number; set it free, like a ringed
bird, to escape through itself, while you ponderously
calculate there's more of it in this room
than there is of you.