xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus (XMRV)
                                             was linked to human chronic fatigue syndrome in 2009

grass-fed beef sustainable in the hinterlands
graze alongside
puritan acts of war & suicide
as children are left alone with attentions
crashed into the aquarian moon

car bombs compete with the bosom of the family
for a boson that tipped it

no money can’t pay, plenty money won’t pay

the love wasn’t there to build a hospital,
lower scores in science left them with
ethics less clearly observable

atheistic diets comfort amazons
fighting in post-traumatic lovelessness
to leave their nearly mouseproof bodies

‘the Enemy’ is finally seen,
simple as a brother or sister, or infiltrated
DNA, hate may
have its etiology but this bug
hijacked the blood
till it ran out of mojo, or blew up
(did anyone really die?)
before lithium said tranquil goodbyes
to old Araby, the thousand & one
nightmares, the lady talked & talked
they sent her off to basic
they let her join the myriads of pepper-breathed martyrs
opium & the arts were off limits, death
was the only permissible painkiller,
the poppy
was cultured into a voice:
‘go back, viking, to your Green Land, slowly melting’

fatigue of ice, fatigue of endless war,
in which white blood cells are inundated,
becoming coastal cities trying to extirpate
floods of xenophobic insurgencies, coughing

the ongoing search continues
for a miracle drug that may’ve survived entry
into earth’s atmosphere:
traveling from peroxide angel-rooms,
informed through gauzed & IV’d chaotic attractors
beyond all hope of the solar system,
nursed into sensible lands of
sometimes dirty-needled wherewithal,
humbling intestinal geography,
vitamin C rebirths

sterilizing procedures become tired,
‘this life is a squat in the warm plasma,’
homeless bios shipwrecked in the veins,
one or another entertainment of contagion
since it’s here to stay making rumblings
about ‘demands’ it
forgets scrambles sleeps off but never a regret,
even may it learn
to study? its own crude lapses
admitted into fortunes of self-loathing & compassion,
wind-borne pneumonias, last gasps
of mother galaxies who died giving birth to
organic reckonings, tentative hellos,
unfounded stone-cold silences

rundown under the heavens’ medical mysteries:
a psychosomatic sense of mortality,
self-replicating inductions of the problem,
iron- & other voids diagnosed from insomnia,
X’d out
as the Sleeping Beauty dreams of rainforest potions,
young, rampant megalopolises,
& her tiger’s danger


everyday suffocation on seeking inspiration
from ozone, up there performing
remorseless purge of helium extremism
arising from conservative solar commands
incomprehensible to oxidizing nervous systems
on fire with rusting verse metrics,
caesuras of diaphragm expansion
being counted into infinity
where the marrow of fast tomorrows
puts out reds to get drunk on

the light blood prevented from levitation
is taken for granted traveling away from the lungs
thick with close-to-the-ground options
under clouds whose rarefied pollutants
fall to earth to be coughed up
helping to slime the redeeming algaes
conspiring with snails in flushing the shallows of livers

aerobic life couldn’t fake
a way with nitrogen or tobacco
into a new record time, panted
& clocked by plants immersed
in the foaming heartbeats of hummingbirds
& hyperventilating whales

fueled by sips of clover,
monarchs twitch in aeration of wormholed biomass,
astronauts gulp their space
in constant resuscitation of the science behind
yawns yawning planets dead ahead of
earth’s no-longer-pupated wings
zigzagged with oxides set to annihilate
a liquid pale blue source (of dreams)
coming from crustal bubbles intoning methyls
through divergent antennae a-quiver,
as swollen chests & thoraxes
compete with black holes & vacuums

long kisses are revived
with unexpired luxuriant atmosphere,
dirtier in spots earth’s spirit antioxidizes
in sustaining positive thoughts floating out of the blood,
disinfecting membranes in the diaspora of atoms,
killing negative ions forming
from gill slits’ memory of
unfinished beings preying on each other

bacteria is conflated with the moon
as it reflects in a mountain stream
outgassing October’s first frost,
hypothermia-conditions safeguard hemoglobin’s mission
to carry the body into a sanguine presence
in whatever winter might bring,
as neon non-beings whistle ghostly in the wind
& steam rolls out from all mouths

a tree’s response to its creation
might only appear as passive, disabled,
seeded as it is into acceleration-to-the-max
like a distant star

while clean environments of the sibling planets spin
off-limits to earth’s shared aromatic medium,
the atmosphere contains in its
prayer-filled soup ongoing minutiae which guardeth
the sleep hanging on every night for years

tidal enzymes recapitulate
just enough winks, REMs, trust,
till one night the well-verified
quanta have no more visible influence no pull:
a witness might then puff something to the moon
diving shiny into space when the loved one
stopped breathing

Dave Shortt is a longtime writer from the USA whose work has appeared over the years in a number of online and print literary-type venues, most recently Silver Pinion, Beatific, Molly Bloom, and Emanations #7 and #8.   More of his poems can be found in Blackbox Manifold, Amethyst Review, and Uut Poetry.

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