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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,


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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