The cold that wouldn't die.

I think I've been sick since I got home from AWP in Austin. One of you gave me this cold. I don't know who you are, but I might have passed you at the bookfair or perhaps I sat next to you at a panel or a reading. Perhaps we touched arms as we inched our way past each other. Or perhaps you reached out from behind your table and shook my hand, gave me a sucker, a pen, a folder, a goo gah smothered in your streptococcus. Or maybe it was you whom I passed on the way to Sixth Street and the local honky tonk bar. Maybe it was you who signed my book, passing from your hand-writing, the catalyst for some remnant bug nestled in my nose. Could it have been you who bought me the drink in the Hilton Hotel Bar? Or you who handed me the cash to tip the cabby?

Oliver de la Paz