The Sniffles

Behold my unfurling. Hark, that tickle deep in the back of your throat. Is that an ache in your calf? The catch in your breath is my trumpet. That phlegmatic drumming in your chest’s hollow. I am coming.
Deny me at your peril.
Ease into my warm molasses of fatigue. Accept my embrace in a smothering of congestion. Remember we are boon companions. Shards of me are sprinkled in your DNA. I’ve evolved around your defenses. Woven into each other’s origin stories, I am close.
You can buy your patent medicines. Run along to work, to the market, to a random parking lot to buy antique Ball jars from a stranger. Ignore the headache ever-tightening. Your belly brain trembles knowing the truth. I’m snaking towards you through cups of tea with honey and lemons, coursing upstream through grandma’s chicken noodle soup. You’ve met my weak sister of summer. Tinges of my flashy cousin Corona haunt you and strengthen me. Geshundheit. Pass the Kleenex. Behold the winter cold!

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