Love would be the flu by Brianna Ricotta 

When you’re like me juggling mental illnesses since nine birthdays old

You really wish you had a maraschino cherry chapped red nose

The sweats and chills all night as you slept

And all you had to do to heal was sleep and watch YouTube

while eating that store bought chicken noodle soup that came so easily

As for medicine take some Nyquil and Dayquil

Within a week you will be normal


The flu is so simple and friendly

compared to keep your mind and from sinking or floating away

while swallowing five different medications twice daily

to help you through the storms.


I look in a window surrounded by dangling snowflakes

Dark contours linger above me

Alarms sing through my mind echoing each other

PTSD triggered by the deep sunset blue on an Anthropologies fuzzy cashmere sweater.


Flashes of light mixed with memories of colors choreograph a dance in my head

for what seems like hours

a panic attack leaves me looking a rag doll


I grab into my periwinkle pink sparkling bag and pull out

interventions like a magician’s handkerchief act.

They’re not working.


I scramble for help just as the clock strikes thirteen.

Time to eat. Shit!

Now at a colorful restaurant  

I feel frozen like the ice cube I twirl with my candy colored straw.

I stare at my favorite food in an eating disorder frozen panic.

My plate covered with moldy inner cow parts, harden sticks of lard, and fast dissolving sugars.

Thinking I can’t eat these poisonous pounds of calories so I have a stare down

and end up wishing I just had the flu.