Fear of Assault

By Dee Allen

PROMPT—During Covid-19 ...

I fear sudden weakness

I fear an assault

Worse than a hate crime,

Worse than the occult

By some assailant

Much smaller than me

Since this disaster began,

Insecurity--

It could travel through nostrils,

Pass my wet tongue,

Plummet down the trachea

And flood my lungs

With so much phlegm,

This brother couldn't breathe,

Hacking with persistent cough--

No goddamn reprieve

Body burning like an open flame

Scalding my head--

The systemic immunity

Breakdown I dread--

This infection is real

I'm feeling its impact

Earth brings out her dead

Majority Native and Black

Filling hospitals and freezer trucks

Caused by bacteriological hex

Somewhere down the line

I might become next

To be one with the darkness

Against my mortal will

I've no wish to find out

If a mystery can kill


And it has

Made early graves and much more

Some other sensation

Stirs within my core


Call it resilience--

You probably felt it, too--

These days, I'm a busy man.

I've got too much living to do.

African-Italian performance poet based in Oakland, California. Active on the creative writing & Spoken Word tips since the early 1990s. Author of 5 books [Boneyard, Unwritten Law, Stormwater and Skeletal Black, all from POOR Press, and his newest from Conviction 2 Change Publishing, Elohi Unitsi] and 26 anthology appearances [including Your Golden Sun Still Shines, Rise, Extreme, The Land Lives Forever, Civil Liberties United and the newest from Local Gems Press, Trees In A Garden Of Ashes] under his figurative belt so far.


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