I Have a Fever and Its Name Is God

G.C. Waldrep

I have a fever and its name is God. 
The nurses come in shifts 
and worship it. 

All around me the land suffers 
from the loss of love’s handkerchief. 
Children sing brackish rhymes 
in the lowest schools. 

There is no key, only 
the locked door 
projected onto the city wall. 
In my dreams I run from it.  

The nurses bandage my body 
in mathematical problems 
I can’t solve.  I tell them 
no, no, measure me 
by the sweetness of honey— 

Hush, they whisper. 
Our names, too, are written 
in the Book of the Smallest Moon. 
You were brought here 
in the traitors’ black ambulance. 
Your brother is a scar. 

The nurses place bowls of fruit 
around my prone body, 
as sacrifices.  Not to you, they explain, 
but to the heat you bear. 

Finally I stumble 
through the image of the door 
in broad daylight.  No one stops me. 
I am prescient as a lilac. 

But the nurses say 
We will never leave you. 
They have prepared a feast, 
they have sewn my wedding garment.

There are so many of them, 
far too many to count. 
Each of them lifts a piece of me 
to her mouth—

By the sweetness of honey.
Let I and my works be undone.

 To read more poetry by G.C. Waldrep, purchase issue 27.2 here.