Back when I was younger,
I would hold my breath when going past graveyards.
I was following a superstition that says
if you hold your breath
the people who are buried there
will not be able to steal it from you.
But now, when I drive past graveyards,
I whisper the names of those I know
who have died.
This time, I am protecting my own breath
and keeping those who have gone
remembered and not forgotten.
I know that the last time someone says your name
is when you really die.
I don’t allow that to happen
and use my breath to keep them alive.
Even if the breath I use to say their names is wasted
it is better than thinking they are truly gone.