Fever and Chills

Written by: Odin Roark

Fever and Chills

History writes itself
invisible pens find surfaces unknown
private life
public life
fever and chills sleep together
heaving corrosive air
from colorless lungs
hearing but their own moans
their own cries of ecstasy
how loud
how soft

From boardroom
to bedroom
clinging to manufactured essence
flesh bleeds with century's plague
ignoring contagion's history past
nurturing instead
weed gardens of delusional orchid and rose

These darkened windows aloft
where seductive airs of passion molt
fail to hide the pores of covetous fantasy
gluttony's vaporous hydration
ready to flake

While all about

Ether's wake delivers
sirens and horns
delivering ambition's twisted celebration of death
one less emergency burden
one more dodging of tragedy's awareness
the One-Percenters' plunder
destined to erode
like sand castles knowing little of ebb's inevitable tide

How courageous for some

To incandesce amidst shallow atmospheres
even as infirmity goes unnoticed by those
embracing fleeting moments
momentarily exchanging covers enfolding profit reports
for the silk and satin kind
king size queen size
makes no difference

For these of duplicitous breath
life becomes but a fool's gold enlaced treadmill
unquenchable thirst crossing windblown lips
insatiable and voracious spoils
body upon body

The sickness passes its virulent infection
its waste-basket poisons
from all too anxious glad-hands
offering but copper-nickel-dime pilings
greed's weed defoliation of flowered chameleon hope
trickling downward
battling updrafts of street despair
as sidewalk survivors reach skyward
embracing the floating pocket change tearfully

As misery rages below
this citadel high above
protects blind-weary subjects
behind penthouse glass
sitting together
sipping cognac
turning up the Bang & Olufsen
reading sonnets they know nothing of
awaiting the recurring sirens and horns

Like children beneath pup tents of fantasy
they scurry close
securing their panic
denying the dark


They too will one day know virulence
and await their own
fever and chills