tom daley

Aphorisms for Illness

Specter that traps the more and spars
with the less, a little rat child

shedding fleas, illness
widens the lines in any cracked epoch,

pounds the pepper
that can’t spike

to either placebo or luck.
Raw as a bottom line,

slick as a trenchcoat,
malady purifies

the customs of succulence.
Illness is the indefinite draw

of a leaky chimney,
the scruffy scab of a war god.

A machinist for over twenty years, Tom Daley leads writing workshops online and in the Boston area. His poetry has appeared in Harvard Review, Massachusetts Review, Fence, Crazyhorse, Witness, and elsewhere. His first book: House You Cannot Reach—Poems in the Voice of My Mother and Other Poems (FutureCycle Press).