"The Fever" by Justin Karcher


I don’t know you & you don’t know me

But we both breathe    

& that’s a good start


We both suck up the same oxygen

Always double-dipping into the atmosphere

Like we’re bad party guests & nobody likes us


Sneezing & coughing all over the trees

& then getting mad when they start dying

Because where are the birds gonna raise their chicks?


We care about the same things

& that means we shouldn’t be strangers          

I mean, c’mon, we both live in cities


Where the buildings have been replaced

With broken thermometers

& everybody’s always feeling under the weather


I just think we like being sick

These days, it’s tough to determine

What makes us hot and bothered


Whenever we hold the sun in our hands

It crumbles into billions of soggy matches      

On most nights, it feels like we’re trying to pick them all up


Hoping we can reassemble the brightest thing in the universe

& reignite everything around us

On most nights, we’re praying to whatever god


For a hand to hold when the ship starts to go down

Yeah, it’s pretty cool when strangers come together

To form a community during the end times


So, can you please tell me your name?

I don’t fancy there’s much time left

But I promise I’ll place a wet washcloth on your forehead