Febrile Linda A. Vandlac Smith In the midst of global warming, humans are getting cooler, not the 98.6 degrees of yesteryear. In the midst of a global pandemic, the world has dropped to smaller numbers, but I am lower still. At my dentist’s office, a gaunt face fills a thermal screen, and I am admitted at 97.2⁰ to correct a failing mouth. At urgent care, I am 96.8⁰, an anagram of an older self, shorter and eroded. I bought digital thermometers twice, thinking the first was broken, never to sprint beyond the 97⁰ starting block from beneath my languishing tongue. The newest measures arterial flare, my forehead’s own infrared aurora borealis, same blood that radiates unchecked heat between sheets at night, just like the random bubbling methane and halitosis of deep sleep that, while denied, still rise into ozone, poking through blankets of atmosphere as I try to burn myself out.
Passing Linda A. Vandlac Smith You ask me about death expect a rhetorical answer I suppose the great metaphors the usual avenues won’t do perhaps just a side street the one you grew up on empty, late at night a few cars at the curb parked occupants home no bright tunnel no transport to walk toward just endless streetlights blinking out as you pass.
Linda A. Vandlac Smith was born and raised in Washington State and currently lives and writes in the Skagit Valley, north of Seattle. Much of her poetry focuses on interpersonal relationships and life in the Pacific Northwest. More than three dozen of her poems have appeared in small press publications such as Permafrost, Pontoon, and Bellingham Review and print anthologies, such as Lavanderia and Least Loved Beasts of the Really Wild West, among others.
“Prepositional” was originally published in DASH Literary Journal, 14th ed., edited by Cody Acevedo, et al, Spring 2021, p. 381.