Summer Cold


It’s the cough that kills me.

‘Too warm for this.’ I think
to myself out loud as the shiver
sets deep in to my bones
– just for a moment –
as the crickets chirp
just outside my window.

This old blanket serves
just as good as new
for to swaddle me up
and keep me warm in this
65-degree-Fahrenheit night

And I lay awake wheezing
and wiping clear snot
on to the back of my hand
until it’s saturated enough
to flail to find my kerchief
– an old cotton T-shirt
that I’d already worn.

The chirping seems to swell
with the unconscious chatter
of my arms and guts – and
everything, as far as I
can tell – and it would
fade again, I’m sure,
if not for this headache.

‘Ain’t it just the way?’
I yell to the uncaring crickets,
‘Sore throat in the middle
of Goddamn June!’

It’s the cough, though,
the stupid fucking cough,
that gets me every time.

Here, Take This


There’s a demon in my esophagus
I should audition for a monster
But I’m too preoccupied with
Blowing my congested nasal
Passages into oblivion.
Double-fisted if I can help it,
Slugging shots of
And they’re multi-symptom.
Where’s the all-symptom?
Wrappers of a thousand
Menthol-eucalyptus lozenges
Make my mouth taste disgusting,
If I can taste at all.
Navigating over a spire of tissues
And a forest of childproof locks
Searching for respite.
I’m sick as a dog,
Whatever that means.