I have been holding my breath since I was I twelve years old
when my mother said that if I sucked in my stomach, I would look more thin.
A decade later, laid up in a cold white hospital room where my thin body verges death, the pulse oximeter on my finger starts beeping because I am not breathing deeply enough
Hooked up to whirring machines that keep me alive, I cannot help but imagine a vastly different trajectory for myself had my lungs been filled to capacity with animating life-breath over the past ten years
But here instead, with nurses sticking my veins with needles, I inhale in bits and pieces, lest I take up too much space, lest my flesh overflow too much.
Lindsay Charbonneau is a visual artist currently residing and working in Alabama, where she spends her time writing, drawing, and playing her ukulele to her heart's content.