(Down with Fever)
by Dale Smith

DOWN WITH FEVER. Spent the day on my back. Woke this morning, sweating. Sound of the washing machine spinning. K builds with blocks. Waylon nests in his bouncy chair. Drifting between wakefulness and sleep, a deerís jeweled guts glistened. A man cut at the legs until they could be torn from the socket. He made a pile of them in the soft dirt where shadows played and a pool of blood trickled off. Very lovely to look at, I thought, seeing nothing sinister in the butchery. And in a derelict garden space, I watched a night heron hunt fish in a creek bed. Its russet neck and dark blue topside made its orange legs stand out bright and startling. Dipped its beak in brown water, coming up with a single minnow each time. Later, I look online at the news. That Mesopotamian mess. Burn the people of the Book. Fry their flesh. Helpless in the twilight sleep of fever dreams, I watched gore go down. Some membraneógeographical distance. Itís a thin space if the mindís tweaked right. Legbra, listen. Tell olí Nobadaddy to beat it. Ahabís whale ainít goiní nowhere. Okay, look. My fistís balled up with sheets. My body aches. Bury the Book in black rockóAl-Khuds, Roma, Mecca. Get a new In the beginningÖ.


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