The Cold

My raw throat converts
breath to fire: no, not with poems —
I’m sick tonight and

it burns to inhale.
Every third breath
draws a cough

that carves me
up. I’m not ready to
die from a cold, of course, 

but at my age
every illness feels like
a flag for a caution lap;

you can’t shake off
what you used to. Slow down, take
as many laps as needed

before coming back
to the line at full speed.
Where’s that green flag

when you want it? No, not for
poems, not tonight.  I’ll settle
for sleeping then waking up tomorrow

and then we’ll see about changing
the fire in my throat
from breath to words.



About Tony Brown

A poet with a history in slam, lots of publications; my personal poetry and a little bit of daily life and opinions. Read the page called "About..." for the details. View all posts by Tony Brown

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