top of page

Don't Hold Your Breath

by Joshlyn Aguirre

The first clean breaths after a near decade of

Toxic fumes invading my nostrils

was a constant rejoice!

My sentence was over—I had done my time

In the city.

No smog, no weight on my shoulders.

Bits of dust tickle my nose,

falling through the light— shining through the trees.

Back into the wilderness, the place I truly belong.

I am an animal and the city holds me in captivity; forever trapped by its tall buildings

that hold me prisoner— when I breathe

run, jump, scream, throw my hands in the air

It’s a constant rejoice!

No longer in the city that trapped me

Suffocated for so long; the presence of the buildings looming over me;


an attempt at compensation for where

they fall short. They fall short in the warmth and space

that nature provides.

Warm light filtered through the trees

forming non-recreatable shapes.

Natural symmetry, perfection from imperfection

Everything in the city is a product of man

Manufactured materials up to my chin,

tiptoeing to the deep end.

Enough to swim in is enough to drown in.

Drowning throws a wrench into my machinery of breathing,

Didn't know that I was choking until I started

to breathe again.

bottom of page