a poem

The Swagger Flu           by Georgie Abel

felt tired for a year and a half, didn’t really give

many damns

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

of it.

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

my heart,

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

called asking:

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

more calm.

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.

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