TEN THOUSAND BREATHS

For Joanna

If God above would say to me:

“Ten thousand breaths I give to thee

And thereupon there shall be none”

Each breath earth’s orbit ‘bout the sun…

But each time that I see your face

My breath’s taken without a trace

Not one- or ten-hundred times,

But one-hundred one-hundred times…

And so He hath offered the chance

To live ten thousand years or glance

In your direction for one bit

But then this planet I must quit…

I tell my Lord: “My choice is She!”

For when I gaze my eyes on thee

The joy that your sight brings to me

Exceeds all lives of eternity…