Cat Scratch Fever

for Karen O’Keefe

Ten

spooked claws

snagged your skin,

and two cross jaws

made a mouse of your

pink and defenceless thumb,

spurring a microbial war

in your tendinous trenches. Some

cocksure grey tomcat’s last-ditch effort

to outsmart the surgeon’s clever scalpel,

to keep his jewels unsnipped, unstitched in their fort

of soft fur. You’d do the same on that chill table,

but that’s little solace as you track the infection

like mercury rising with feverish indiscretion.

Published online March 01 2009.


Poetry Only cover image

This piece was published in ‘Poetry Only,’ the Spring 2009 issue of CV2.

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