From January 22, 2002
until nearly April of that year
I bruised, blistered, and bled.
The price of speaking truth to power
or in this precise case the World Economic Forum.
I brushed off the goo, they sprayed
and kept on shouting.
Later that day severe sudden attack
of the hives medicine almost
always kept hidden
caused me to request someone inject
me with the epinephrine I always carried,
for the first time, ever.
I didn’t know that
that would become
what I would see
as an easy day
in the following weeks
when my skin fell off
in horrible burning, itching chunks.
No matter what they pumped me
full of in crazier and crazier doses
beyond body weight recommendations,
it was unrelenting, unblinking
until a kindly Indian doctor
who didn’t even have citizenship,
told me to drink one glass of water per hour
after taking enough prednisone
to choke a goat.