The Archibald Rutledge Prize
Winter 2010
Cassie Premo Steele

This is my disease

This is my disease: wishing.
The dice in the hand, the breath,
the roll. These are the symptoms.
I cough up luck.
I burn with the fever
of what could be better.
I am sleepless
with the possibility
of dreams.
And you, my doctor,
sit at my bedside
and make plans.
You write up budgets
for me to follow.
You make me sign papers
and mail them to me
in triplicate.
Nothing works.
I refuse
to be cured.
I throw all my pennies in the fountain,
and then jump in.
You throw up your hands.
©2010 Cassie Premo Steele