Lightless January looks to be a world away. Or, the January Nellie can neither evade nor prevent: the listless progress separating one world from a second, the corridor connecting them a hollowed-out bone. A year as premature as a miracle that has been foretold can be. Time nips as if it must know it can exact a change of mind by inflicting prolonged agonies on the body. A skeleton February: receding rime and unraked leaves in disinterred anatomies. March fevery, blotchy in the face to which flesh is just clumping again, demented almost, wheezing with a catarrh like a snare drum trembling with every loudness save its own unstruck rat-a-tat-tat. Lye, and its salty smolder, and wind-battered wash, or its dankness, or its porousness—of blued linen and cotton and rayon fluttering cellophane illusions each around the other—are soon to blind the air shafts of spring. Nellie can anticipate that she’ll be shooing the burnt cork ghosts of heavy coats to the rear of the hall closet. The hats, dependable in their pending, will all be implacable. April, half-risen, will develop a rash. And when it cares to make its ills known, the calendar’s fourth-born will croak for nourishment. In the throes of such a happenstance, and from the kitchen, over the splash and rattle of dishes being scrubbed, rinsed, put away, Nellie, she cannot endure being a spectator to this dying any longer, she decides that she will cry back:
— You may be what you eat, yes sir, you may be, but here’s food for your thought: what you breathe is you.
— by Joe Milazzo