i caress your cheek (as you tremble under
the weight of my hand) i caress it
with butterfly wings, so powdery soft,
giving my colours – my essence – over

to your skin – your rose petal cheeks
like the flame of a match on my hand (you're
burning up) nobody can
feel the fever like you do: i

carry your voice around in a birdcage,
listen to it sing (in its confines,
you shall survive such strangling weeds)
i watch the sky bruise under

crying pride for beauty now
matched – the atrocity of such a
bewildering situation –
(i caress your cheek) until

rose pales with wintry breath (don't wilt just
yet): spring bleeds light and
allergies; if only i could breathe
freely in the first

place (let me hold your heart so i
can give your voice back) –
tell-tale symptoms bleed from your eyes;
oh, let me sing for you:

you're trembling with the fever again.