The American Selfcare System – Ben Nardolilli

This poem is the first of two by Ben that we will be posting. The dry, upfront way in which he handles the subject of each respective piece won us over easily. Enjoy.

The American Selfcare System

Fever? Sure, it’s rising around my ears 

and soaking into my forehead, am I red? Always, 

but this afternoon, I feel it. Drop some water 

on me and watch the steam. 

There’s enough energy here for a city of lights, 

what a shame it’s all going to waste. 

Popular theory: it’s another germ 

germinating inside of me, and why’s that? 

I’ve got a sore throat too, of course. 

It makes sense to blame it on invasions unseen 

that seem to be attacking me 

from my ankles, to my neck, to my forehead. 

Unpopular, romantic theory: I’m red 

because a whiff of spring is loose in the air 

and I’m rendered electric over sudden possibilities 

that the winter months shut up. 

There’ll be rain, but the rain will refresh, 

and there’ll be no more snow to contend with. 

Ben Nardolilli currently lives in New York City. His work has appeared in Perigee Magazine, Red Fez, Danse Macabre, The 22 Magazine, Quail Bell Magazine, Elimae, The Northampton Review, Local Train Magazine, The Minetta Review, and Yes Poetry. He blogs at and is trying to publish a novel.

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