"Between a Breath" by Hannah Hilst

Between a breath of smoke

and a breath of snowfall:

my chest felt closed and black with a virus

and the smoke dripped in my lungs,

the side of my jaw tingled

with a whip of wind like a finger tracing

lines across my shoulder then down my arm,

its hair pointing north,

mittens with fuzz hooked

in the rough corner of my thumbnail,

the smoke like meat

and snow like gloss,

the gloss like water

washing in my throat,

opening my chest and in the lungs,

water swirling like smoke in the breathing

then hot breath outward

like a furnace, like a dragon

and I let the metal swing thick behind me as I tug my hood

forward.