Folded on the striped sofa,
a flower at dusk.
Dizzied. Drowsing. Dreaming.
Sluggish and sedated,
hacking, wheezing,
virus bubbling my blood.

Creeping to the bathroom.
Clinging to the wall.
Weepy-eyed. Dry-mouthed.
Snot-nosed. Dangling
at the end of five days’ fever:
acrid syrup, green tea, broth.

Too hot! Too cold! Too hot!
Tissues heap the table,
magazines, puzzle books, aspirin,
half a chicken sandwich
slowly turning to cardboard.

Ann Howells edited Illya’s Honey journal from 1999 to 2017. Publications include the books: Under a Lone Star (Village Books Press), Cattlemen and Cadillacs — as editor (Dallas Poets Community Press), So Long As We Speak Their Names (Kelsay Books), and Painting the Pinwheel Sky (Assure Press).