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Hold Your Breath


Two pigeons claim my AC unit as their own. I name them Christopher and Columbus. They laugh at me, seasoning my windowsill with shit. My neighbor tells me to be sure they don’t get inside the unit; that’s when I need to start worrying about the air quality. When I was twenty one, my mother coughed up blood for the first time. She took a picture of the tissue. Her doctors say she caught a rare infection, likely from avian feces. We used to garden together in our front yard. Dad bought her a birdwatching book for her fiftieth birthday. Mom is in the hospital again. Bilateral pneumonia and she’s struggling to breathe. I had never heard of Sepsis before. The train takes me home and I fall asleep to a dove’s lullaby.

Kat Stubing was born into the sticky heat of summer and has been searching for the right words ever since. She received her BA in Media Studies from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and is a proud member of the Brooklyn Women’s Writing Group. Her poems have been published in a variety of literary magazines, including Beyond Words, Allegory Ridge, and Hare’s Paw. You can find Kat online at katjoys.squarespace.com and on Twitter @katjoyst.

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