The Chocolate Infection

By G. E. Murray
Days of the ferret, a sweet fever.   
Someone is walking through the sun   
With my tongue on a leash.

Say “Ahhh.” Thank goodness,
It’s not diabetes or the Bolivian Rot.

This morning I am a cross   
Between lefthandedness   
And pointblank rage.

The sun leaks like soft ice.   
The infection deepens . . .

My eyes dissolve
In a closet of heat.
I become 4,000
Yellow flowers, chirruping.

O the cliché of a trek into the bowels of China.
O the night that zings like a harpsichord factory!
O gorgeous sun limping in the frozen dusk.
O candy wrappers stacked like bricks!

Snow growls on my roof.   
The infection deepens . . .

A day on fire   
Placing real rabbits
Where my mouth should be.

I am several kinds of tigers.   
I am a confectionary treat.

This fever fills my sleeves   
With pearls of honey drops.   
Am I too strange to bleed?

I’m behind myself   
With a knife and fork,   
Revolving on a skewer.

I am wild with grief
As greasy children
Reach deep into my fever   
To scoop out their revenge   
In double-dips . . .

Come off it, kids.
Next week, I’ll be raining   
On the iron road to Malta   
And perfect health, melting
Like sugar in the mouth of the Orinoco.

G. E. Murray, “The Chocolate Infection” from Repairs. Copyright © 1979 by G. E. Murray. Used by permission of the University of Missouri Press.

Source: Repairs (University of Missouri Press, 1979)

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Poet G. E. Murray

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

Subjects Living, Health & Illness, Eating & Drinking, Activities

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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