go outside, look at that mountain laurel
she’d smell like honey and a bare midriff
we’re all suffocating indoors
and the sun’s at max volume
so maybe, I think, maybe it’s time to tiptoe
back out to the garden, but I think better of it
because it’s march.
and I know I’m not supposed to hate, but right now
the sticky-hot fingers of spring
in san antonio are almost enough
to make me grateful for the wretched thing
keeping me inside today
I take one step out the door
and two steps back
the air outside is a thick dead weight
a wet wool blanket and a piece of rotting fruit
now “suffocating” doesn’t really cover it
for all texas weather is a trickster worse than puck
so now I am made to choose:
the flat, stale quality of stagnant breaths
corked in a bottle made of four walls?
or the sun-dappled nectar of beaded sweat
yellow with botanical lust, a fine
dust coating on the world?
By Hanah Shields
Hanah Shields is a sophomore at Washington University in St. Louis, where she studies English Literature with a Creative Writing concentration and Classics. She currently serves as the literary editor for Spires Intercollegiate Arts & Literary Magazine. You can find her on Twitter @hanahjs or on Instagram @hanah.j.s.