You hoped it wouldn’t reach you, this infection:
the soup-warm air, the slice of the ceiling fan,
the radio screaming broken records.
You loved that town like a baby
that would reach out to pet the soft spot inside your arm
until the day its skin cracked with fever, hot under your hand,
asphalt warping, twisting in its sleep,
crumbling inward at a touch, gaping bone and steam,
teeth that could tear you apart.
You split your thumbnail pounding nails through the doorjamb
with a red X over the threshold
but it’s still reaching after you
a little closer every year, crying your name,
and now it’s 91 degrees in the Arctic Circle, north of Stockholm.
You’re running out of places to hide.
Amelinda Bérubé writes about ghosts and monsters and other things that go bump in the night. Her books tend to include a liberal sprinkling of weird Canadiana and the occasional zombie metaphor; for reading, she's an eternal fangirl for YA and SFF. In her other lives Amelinda is a public service editor, a mother of two, and a passionate gardener living in Ottawa, Canada, in a perpetual whirlwind of unfinished projects and cat hair. The Dark Beneath the Ice, her first novel, hit shelves on August 7.