Poem of the Month: Fevers

The fever stroked her
twitched the savory embers
balsam ash and myrrh
fever shuddered through her
as stubborn tongues of bulbs
sprout up through loamy fields
toward noon’s brief gleam

The fever broke
at midnight
where yesterdays are born
as fevers often do
when watched
darting dreams were summoned in
corralled like wild mustangs
her breathing broken, measured

She sits erect
at honest dawn
coddled in her rightful room
her lap receives a careful tray
calming tea and proper toast
her ordinary pulse denies
its quickened past, the beat
so recently adjourned

Seeking shadows
for the sweaty night
of throes and visions
her flitting gaze
finds instead the sunny window
she winces at the drenching light
and longs for banished dangers

She misses it
the pantomime
where what was flat looked full
imagined words held sway
how all her hollows sang
and liquid silver hovered
in momentary tremor
between shy greeting and blind heat.

Petunias sprawl
across the sill
in shameless, shouting pinks and white
the moisture on her salted brow
evaporates from view
leaves her skin stretched tight
like rawhide on a secret drum
at ceremony’s end




“Fevers” was published in the journal, Mediphors, Bloomsburg, PA, 1994.

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