The heat of the sun
Cannot remove the chill
That seems to have settled
Deep within me.

I shiver uncontrollably
As the cold sweeps
Through my body
With its icy breath.

My every joint aches,
A dull and throbbing pain.
My hands cramp around
The pencl with which I write.

My head beats like a drum,
In rythmn with the ache,
As if to amplify it
And make me more aware.

Even my muscles are not immune
To the thrumming pain
That courses through me
Like a river through its bed.

Another shiver sets me shaking,
Enraging the soft ache
Until it grows like fire
To consume me for a moment.

These pains, like wandering ghosts,
Take possession of my body,
Taking from me all control
Of my entire being.

I feel myself slipping.
Away from reality I fall,
Toward a dark chasm
That threatens to swallow me.

I try to call out,
But my throat is too raw
To produce more than
A partially audible croak.

A thousand voices
Vie for my attention.
Some seem distant,
Others so very near.

They try to communicate,
But are swept up in the chill.
Their calling words
Are lost to me.

The clock's ticking
Seems to have slowed
To an unbearably sedate
Pace of movement.

No matter when I look,
The hands seem to
Not have moved at all.
The chill settles deeper.


March 19, 2002