Joyelle McSweeney

from Toxic Sonnets: A
Crown for John Keats

Death-fletched, alive, immune to all elixirs,
I sit like a drone pilot at a dock of screens.
My attention is a fang that sinks through plasma
like a toxic arrow or a tooth in Coke. I’m fine.
I’m sick. I grip a joy-stick. Outside, a pink
crust announces evening, buzzards ride
heat signatures at dusk. Inside, plasmodium
reshapes itself, now a slipper, now a gauntlet
tossed down in the gut, and now a Glock, a mouse,
a Mauser, the lucky cloud that mounts the hill
to break its blessing on the forehead of the bride
or the wedding guest who’s dead
yet cocks his eye
at any light now breaking in the sky