I. Fifty-three dinosaurs roam the basement floor— a belly-up triceratops awaits a looming allosaurus bite. My son knows every classification, bird- or lizard-hipped, carnivore teeth, serrated or herbivore flat— he played them like Barbies with a survival story in every staging. II. As he awakes atop the T-rex quilt hand-stitched by my mother, and his chest struggles up and sinks like a wounded animal, I phone his nurse. As every question she asks confirms my fear, I hear Mozart’s Alla Turca, my piano stuck on the part I’ve practiced for months to no avail drumming dissonance deep into my psyche. He can’t sit up. Should I bring him in? She asks me to check the color of his skin. Grey. III. Grey recalls April ocean cocooning Santa Barbara’s rocky shore, off-leash dogs, early morning fog, sand crabs’ tiny legs giggling in our palms. Once, we buried him in sand, watched him jiggle his toes. Grey is the wind dragging rain through clouds, bruise through sky. IV. An ambulance wailing counting every breath— Survive ER doors open A doctor apologizes I don’t know why They try with oxygen Monitors beep my son vomits fenced by rip currents I am exiled on an island of waiting I count triceratops’s three horns, eight hundred teeth, sixteen neck frill spikes infinity of useless minutes. V. Ten days in the hospital, while we relearn inhaling. Breathe in and hold . . . let all the air out— until his mind screams Give. Hold the spacer to his mouth, press the button and Breathe in until he’s pregnant with air. And Hold— VI. The biggest baby in the nursery and breech, he freed himself from my womb screaming for milk, lungs so full of air, legs so long, he walked from the surgery suite and asked the doctor for a lollipop. On the stretcher, I struggled to capture my breath, the milk refused to release. VII. Three times we visited the ER Three times They never made us wait his masked face like a deep sea diver with the bends Prednisone Advair Albuterol and the magic Budesonide you only get in the ER— till finally he can breathe VIII. He chose to play the most difficult French horn. Performing at fourteen, Mozart Concerto #4 in E-flat major emerges from tightly-spiraled pipes, each note a petal fanning from a sunflower’s center leaving us lush in a field of dappling. When he pauses to swallow air deep into his lungs' web he carries us from forte to pianissimo— holding, connecting, clipping air: the apotheosis of endless minivan miles, lessons and practice. When he bows to the standing ovation, He, the orchestra, audience and I are all breath.