Invaders

There you are,

a small face on the pillow,

my hand on your neck

over the swelling,

while your eyes crumple

and whimper,

and I say how

sometimes there’s a

lump under the skin before we get sick.

But you don’t speak

and your cheeks burn,

fighting off the invaders

of bodies and dreams.

Sometimes the miracle

of your being

intoxicates me

and I swoon in your mysteries

oblivious to passing years.

But in moments like this,

when you leave me alone

with your fevered soul,

I see with the clarity

of an old, debauched king,

bodies fail us,

even the young succumb

to their fevers.

I love you and cling

to your palms that still pulse

with delirious life,

but every night,

when we lie down recklessly

like this,

love flees with our sleep,

like dark leaves

shedding over

the wound of the world.

Copyright 2014 Ricky Barrow

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