The Swagger Flu by Georgie Abel
felt tired for a year and a half, didn’t really give
or birthday gifts
didn’t wear many dresses
or hearts on my sleeve
hardly looked in the mirror
didn’t really have much to say
couldn’t just sit and breathe
barely wrote any poems
no live music
danced maybe twice
bailed a lot.
then, one night i got sick
chills ripped through my back, and I knew.
I got in bed
and just decided:
okay you nasty ass flu,
come at me bro,
you’re gonna make me feel like doodoo but I’m gonna use you
to get my swagger back.
Let’s do this shit.
barely walking, five days:
the rest reminded me to always rest
the chills rattled the doubt from my bones
the cough got all the stagnation out of
i made room.
and the fever, the fever lit it all on fire.
my brain got hot
and started thinking these new thoughts
like how come you don’t go to cafes by yourself anymore
when did you stop reading and
where is your yoga mat.
the fever sparked this coil at the base of my spine
invited it to unwind and made it flow like an electric river
blue and hot
here we go, i thought.
I needed something so I tried this new thing for me
help, i said. and they did:
she said–you’re Georgie Fucking Abel,
and all that bullshit, that ain’t for you, G,
she said–be sweet to yourself,
she said–your gut, I’d go with that,
she said–take care of yourself,
she said–you can’t just wither and die,
she said–it’s just time.
so I said–you see this here, this here is The Line.
he said–you look
different, more sure of yourself
I said–thanks, I finally feel like myself again, that flu really took it out of me,
and we both knew
what I meant by that.