Breaking My Fast After Fever
or In Praise of Floxin *
Everything beautiful, mellow and steady:
a horn rhapsodizing, a still-life by Braque.
Autumn leaves through the plate-glass:
red, yellow, dancing. The light, the incredible
light streaming over the counter: tall bottle
of Merlot, squat jar of sugar, spray bottle
(Mazola), glistening aluminum sink.
Even my bowl of oatmeal and Gala
apple, even my glass of cranberry juice.
O, Floxin! I lived through
Three Nights of The Living Dead.
104.9: Wes Craven meets Dante:
Steven King lights the Gaslight.
And suddenly Kali and all her Maidens,
all Frankinstein's Henchmen and Brides,
all the Gorgons and Apemen, The Beast
stoned on angel dust, The Thing and The Hulk,
Charles Manson and Genghis Khan, armies
of goons, swing their truncheons, their stun
their Samurai swords. Shake their torches, their
flame throwers, their branding-irons. And circle,
encircle, press close. Twenty hands strike
a match to my white, sweaty feet. See
the bones phosphoresce and ignite, do
the Dance of the Red Death. Chant,
Gorgons! My spine spitting lava. Moan,
Goons! And I burst in a billion hot
pieces in an army of gobbling mouths.
* A powerful antibiotic.
Copyright 1999, Mary
Mary Zeppa's publications include Shaman's Drum, The New York
Quarterly, Zone 3, One(Dog) Press and the Pocket Books
anthology I've Always Meant to Tell You: Letters to Our Mothers.
Zeppa is also one-fifth of Cherry Fizz, a quintet specializing in
unlabeled a cappella.