Poetry: Fever Burns


Today I am posting a poem that I wrote a few years ago. If you don’t like poetry, come back Friday. (Or close your eyes and read it!)

Fever Burns

Placid, flaccid sleep of
Nightmare sweats and sticky sheets
From heat not there.
A touch of skin, a sweet caress,
Becomes a scrape of chalk on slate
To paper skin –
Sunburnt skin, burnt by a fire within,
Bleeding, dry and wet reversed.
A piston pulse of heat’s mirage
Sews needles’ chills of misery
And whirring beats of sound unheard –
A honking horn, a smoke alarm,
A child’s moans unanswered –
Are nighttime omens come amidst the heat
Of woe and misery complete.

So gasp and strain and shuffle,
I fuzzily stumble, groping for relief,
Looking for a pill or dose
To keep what’s in within,
What’s out without,
And let me nod awhile and doze.
A splash, a glass, a pill, a gulp
Of water’s quench and aspirin’s aspiration,
And back again to bed to wait
For blessed dispensation.

By light of night the acid works
As minutes trick like hours,
While the shade of indecision grows
For up or bed, the question of the night,
Demands an answer. Then late
A spiral pyre dies,
A spirit bathes my face,
My bleary lucid grasp infers
A sweet, albeit real, turn:
Idyllic sheets of sweat wherein
My fever bates, my pain is gone,
And sleep awaits,
Its healing grace restored.

* * *

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