The brain, Aristotle ruled,
was a system meant to cool
the heart. Hot heart.

Neuroscientists now name
the yawn a way to cool
the brain. Hot brain.

The words for birth
and life and death
end each in the rushing

sound of air pushed through
the mouth’s constriction
breath. Hot breath.

The word breath too
ends in that voiceless noise,
the unforgiving friction

fired between a body
and the air that it requires.
Body hot. Then not.