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“Defiance” – Melissa Pumayugra

Breath as defiance
in the cold autumn, 
a season of dull yellows, 
blood orange, eventually
pitch dark winter nights. 

We are constantly on trial, 
breathing in the ice,
exhaling wisps of heat,
bundled under the stress 
of the changing season. 

If you can live through 
October, there will be
November, and an end 
to the most trying of years
will be past by January. 

Keep on. Keep pulling in
all the angry, cold air,
even when the crisp oxygen
penetrates your chest,
you must keep on living. 

About the Author:

Melissa Wabnitz Pumayugra is a writer based out of central Texas who enjoys a great tall tale and a medium iced coffee. Her work centers around identity, cultural phenomena, and embracing the past. Her photography and writing can be found in Blood Orange Review, You Might Need to Hear This, Oklahoma Today, Emerson Review, Hobart, and many other obscure publications scattered throughout the globe.

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