The air kept getting heavier
And somehow sweeter
He ached to breathe
Almost as much as he ached to stop
As his chest rose and fell
He felt the realization
The inevitable dip
The math caught up with him
Those digits were not going down
His plateau had become a slope
One that afforded him a great view
He mindlessly enjoyed the tumble-down
The scenery of a hundred stars fluttering
And a thousand dying outright
Then the aching stopped
The word ‘surrender’ became
A faded forgettable notion
So he stayed the course
Blissfully ignorant of dips and dead dreams
But iron willed just the same

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