About the Feature

for my wife, nalani, and our 6-month-old daughter, kaikainali’i, hawai’i 2014

[we] take
kaikainali’i to
the pediatrician—
outbreak of

enterovirus D68
in new york
the nurse
recites the

vaccines and
expiration dates—
outbreak of
chikungunya in

the caribbean
florida, tokelau
nalani holds
kaikainali’i and

sings a
mele [we]
learned during
hapai class

at kokua
kalihi valley—
outbreak of
dengue fever

in china,
and japan
the nurse
rubs alcohol

onto kaikainali’i’s
shoots needle—
outbreak of

west nile
virus in
texas, california
kaikainali’i screams—


the nurse
wipes blood
drops with
cotton balls,

puts astronaut
snoopy bandaids—
outbreak of
ebola in

liberia, sierra
leone, guinea
at home
we check

her temperature—
the planet
warms, [our]

bodies host
fever chains
of transmission
no child

born in  
this fourth
era of
disease will

be immune
at dawn
kaikainali’i’s fever

bodies drowning
in sweat—


Image by NIAID

About the Author

Craig Santos Perez is from the Pacific Island of Guåhan (Guam). He is the author of from unincorporated territory [hacha] (2008), from unincorporated territory [saina] (2010), and from unincorporated territory [guma’] (2014). He is director of the creative writing program in the English department at the University of Hawai‘i, Manoa.