Apocrypha | by Alrisha Shea

In January, your breath pools outside
your body, collecting into one hyperdense
cumulus, heavier than anything you’d be

able to imagine even on a good day. In February,
this effect dissipates. What’s the purpose?

Well, it comes down to this; would you rather
have the weight of breath inside or outside
of your body? That’s what I’m asking this time.

I haven’t decided yet; I’ve been living on stolen
air for the past couple years, give or take.

There are so many lessons the lungs can
teach: the exhale before apology, the building
pressure of pride, the aquatic breaching;

but I haven’t bothered to learn any of them. Please,
let my breath condense into a fog wet enough
to swim into, and watch me wade into the
stratosphere. From there, I’ll fall down

and when I land facing supine, I’ll finally be
breathless. It takes these kind of extremes to
return from what I’ve done. Then, I’ll exhale
a cloud so perfect I remember how to drown.



Alrisha Shea is a 16 year old non-binary student. They are a writer who is new to the medium, and who is currently unpublished. They are planning to double-major in Biology and Data Science in undergrad. They spend their spare time avoiding hypothermia and teaching raccoons how to light fires. They have no website, but feel free to follow them at @alrisha_s on Twitter.