Lydia Havens | i have a fever; i pray to Michael Stipe

i have a fever; i pray to Michael Stipe

a father with only a voice. maybe you only exist in the sky, or some other endless space.
maybe the couch my parents left me on before they both left for work was always made of
divorce papers. Michael—Mr. Stipe? Momentary God?—did your parents ever argue? do
you even have parents? there are lots of people in my life i can’t imagine having parents.
should i consider you a part of my life? you always sound like you’re crying a little bit
when you sing. my mom puts Lifes Rich Pageant on every night after she gets home from
work and we always cry a little too. yes, i know my father’s face, but i think i will always
picture his voice first. i have straight A’s because of my father’s voice. i can’t stand the
smell of beer because of my father’s voice. there are holes in the walls of this living room
because of my father’s voice. my father says he has no opinion on your band. he says your
albums make wonderful background noise. until he said that, i did not realize that noise
can only exist in the background. and yes, i know you’re supposed to ask something of
whoever you pray to. but today, i have a sore throat, and i just needed to hear myself talk.
i just needed to feel like i could put on one of your albums, and maybe between tracks, you
would say something back.

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Lydia Havens is a poet currently living in Boise, Idaho. Her work has previously been published in Winter Tangerine, Black Napkin Press, and Banango Street, among others. Her first full-length collection, Survive Like the Water was published by Rising Phoenix Press in February 2017. Lydia currently works as Big Tree Arts Inc.’s booking agent, and is on Boise’s 2017 National Poetry Slam team. Ask her about her lizard meme collection.