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Yellow Fever

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Eyes blink yellow; skin sinks
hearts dancing a diseased dance; I clutch my shirt fighting
for control
fast slow fast slow fast slow fast slow fast slow fast slow.
My head hurts with a thirsty ache
Signs of fever
Food is a poison my body cannot have. Food taunts me from its glass perch, beckoning me with a warm smell
Why can’t they help me?
Black blood flows from my mouth
I cannot breath
I convulse in seizures, my body squirming with insanity
I see people that cannot see each other and cannot see me and cannot see anything because they are crazy
“I’m so sorry Josephine, there is no cure.”
Whatdoyoumeanwhatdoyoumeanwhatdoyoumeanwhatdoyoumeanwhatdoyoumeanwhatdoyoumean
I know what he means
Little mosquito turns my fever yellow
Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
I go to sleep
Two weeks later I rise from my slumber
“A coma, Josephine,” says doctor.
A coma Josephine
In South America always sleep with a net
Protecting you caging you surrounding you
So you will be safe
I write this in nurse’s journal with my skinny hands
A man with a sad smile takes my picture
I stare at him
“I shall recover,” I say to him, “I’m a survivor.”
He is scared I will infect him
I cry and curl into a ball

Two months later
I survived
Half the victims don’t
But I do
I am alive I am alive I am alive
I fought yellow fever
I won



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