Cat Scratch Fever
for Karen O’Keefe
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.