A lack of fever. A poem by Jane Wheeler

My temperature is thirty six point three centigrade
that’s normal
blackcap singing in the sycamore

the tree invites beaks
plague masks with beaks
(at thirty six degrees)

used speech blows away
landing at thirty six degrees South
in the Atlantic Ocean

at the bottom of the sea
it’s a lot colder
lift it out

the speech I lost in the lull at thirty six C
my mind runs out of shape
I can’t read myself at thirty six C

I can’t get a grip on this solitude
now the neighbours are full-time
locked out or locked in?

there’s a trapdoor in a film
the detail empties it out
this way my neck becomes petals from the cherry tree

the rebuild differs in detail
in recovery do you have an appetite?
outside there are dandelions and bees

Nurse wakes me but kissing is not allowed
this is the exercise courtyard
we rinse silver tins on our knees

my temperature is thirty six point three degrees C
that’s normal
in the garden the wren trills on


Jane Wheeler works with paint and words. She lives in North Norfolk, UK and is inspired by the details of the coastal landscape, its people, flora and fauna. Her poem Larks’ song for a deserted farmhouse recently won third prize in the Rialto/RSPB’s Nature and Place competition and her poems have been published in The Rialto, Tears in the Fence, Reliquiae, The North, Under the Radar, Envoi, Strix, Coast to Coast to Coast and other journals.

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