January Walk

From 2021

The ice cold wind gives me no favors.
It burns my lungs the way
I imagine a cigarette would.
It feels like knives are cutting off
my airways when I try to inhale.
In these moments I feel my incapabilities fully.
The pain from the air shoots through my chest
as I try to take a full breath.
I can do it but it’s difficult.
50s in January doesn’t feel
like 50s in spring or fall,
a reminder that we’re still
in the midst of winter.
I carry on with my shallow
breathing that hurts less.
When I get back home, I look in the mirror
and my nose is red as a lobster from the wind.
I smell smoke on my scarf when I take it off.
Confused, I open the sliding glass door
to see what’s going on.
Sure enough, the air is filled
with hazy campfire smoke
I didn’t smell when I was outside.

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