Michael’s Fever

20s-era rental built of bent boards,
bad carpet and brick. A falling value,
south of downtown and neglect by landlords.
But at night, through the windows pass drafts and views,

I find him standing when I get up to piss. 
His shoulders defeated, his open mouth 
holds a yellow tongue in bubbling bliss, 
his eyes unkempt. I ask if he’s ok.

There’s a sun in the south

he replies, standing dead asleep.
The windchime is the breeze’s punching bag,
the curtains are canvas sails burning and they leap
to catch us, doors slamming, our clothes in red rags.

Forensics will find us tomorrow, but still
none can explain the smoldering window sill