another fever, another funeral

oh god
there’s the fear
the kind that makes me want to scratch my teeth off
and pull back my cuticles until i find raw skin

it’s always a fever that triggers it
because that is the beginning of too many stories
that end in rare diseases and unexpected death

his temp is 102.1 but he’s 4 months old now
so some tylenol would help
and i’ve tried a couple times to give it to him
but he keeps spitting it back at me
and now i dont know how much he’s swallowed
and i’m afraid to give him more
but if he doesn’t get enough
his fever won’t go down

and oh shit there goes another tooth
and another cuticle
and i think i smell the hospital room
where i had to walk away from her cold dead body

and no one ever said parenting would be this scary
because no one ever tells you
one of your children might die

and after that happens the goblins live in your closet
and the monsters hide under your bed
and they jeer at you and they taunt you
and they don’t even bother wearing masks
and there’s no nightlight
to help keep them away

so it’s just them, and your fear of them
and you and your children,
and knowing they can just slip away
on any random sunny or rainy day.

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