Febbre a Febbraioby Paul Nemser
Do not pare your nails too far back.
You will need them to peel back
the tape on your arm. That arm
is a map of the sewer system of Rome.
Until recently, your head was the biggest building
in the world: lion hotels, pilgrimage sites.
Even now, all your energy goes to clean up
after vandals. You brush off
the chipped mosaic.
Just enough tiles—you can
make out the blue shoulders of a goddess
whose grace may yet take you by the elbow
to a stand of pine that drizzles into raw earth
bringing to life the taste of pitch.
Look at her, she is a sky that knows you perfectly—
deliverer of ice chipped from an Alp,
wagoned to your bedside
in a clear, germless glass.