Sonnet for My Beautiful Asthma

How invisible, how meteoric—
nights I wake propped up on pillows
like Emily Dickinson, coughing
delicate into the handkerchief as I
lay dying, watching the curtains in all
their immortal cotton billow whenever
the heat comes on. How senseless, how
euphoric—the stars in the dark were of
my mind’s making, weathering the black
with the constant spark of fever, the dark
punctuated with my foamy breath. How I
am all fish, all water, all crest and bubble.
How extraordinary, how oceanic, to drown
beneath the weight of one’s sodden lungs.

Meghan Sterling lives in Maine. Her work has been nominated for a number of Pushcarts, is forthcoming in The Los Angeles Review, Meridian, Rhino Poetry, Nelle, Solstice, and many others. These Few Seeds (Terrapin Books, 2021) was a Eric Hoffer Grand Prize Finalist. Self-Portrait with Ghosts of the Diaspora (Harbor Editions), Comfort the Mourners (Everybody Press) and View from a Borrowed Field (Lily Poetry Review’s Paul Nemser Book Prize) are all forthcoming in 2023.

Appears In

Issue 18

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