My night cut into by waking dreams,
knotted sheets and the unbearable
countdown to morning.
Sleep crusting the back of my throat,
not strep, but something definitely
coming down upon me.
I know that chicken-scratch
rawness, tongue thick in my mouth.
Unsavory foreign bodies cracking defenses,
setting off klaxons in the bloodstream
loosening mucus membranes
warming the tissue.
What we need now is a good fever;
scorch the invaders, make way for relief.
In battle sometimes
the more you burn, the more rubble you have
when it’s time to rebuild.