Winter Quarantine

I exhale and imagine

my breath scattering the snow

that has been falling

outside my window, steadily,

since morning.

*

It is bad travel weather,

though that doesn’t matter.

For ten months of quarantine,

there has been nowhere

safe to go. So that I’ve stopped

even trying to move.

*

I exhale and imagine

if we could see a coronavirus float

and flurry, land

on an outstretched hand

or tongue like a snowflake.

The models of the virus

online look like that.

*

I imagine if

we could always

see our breath,

the way we do

when it’s frozen,

charging out ahead

and burning back in.

*

Imagine.

*

I am used to the feel of breath,

now, when it’s trapped,

wet, in a cotton face mask.

I used to breathe

without paying such attention.

*

If…

*

I have always been restless

in winter. But I didn’t used to

have to remind myself every day

to take such deep breaths. To count

living and breathing as a success

for the day.