Sick and I

by Katie Fewster-Yan

Katie Fewster-Yan grew up in Toronto. Her work has appeared in RoomNewPoetryThe Puritan, and The New Quarterly.

I.

At six, I slurped my strep
-infected sister’s leftover soup
to summon her. She sauntered
in, real cool, to use my throat
as a crash pad while she helped
me to cut math class and earn jello.

At sixteen, she came back
to throw a rager in the basement
of my abdomen. I took my residence
to medical experts who found
my appendix ruptured
like a pool toy, her scattering
entourage sloshed and keeling
over to vomit on the lawn.

I called her up again one day
when I was low—real low.
Purring into the ear piece,
she assured me she had just the thing,
then showed up with an embrace.
I leaned in until it swallowed me.

II.

She transformed into a living
room. “Don’t bring that in here,”
she demanded, first of my sandwich,
then my thighs. Other friends
were turned off by the drywall
and drapery, which had dampened
my expression of interest in their lives.

Lonely, I cranked my neck out
the window to holler for help.
“Well,” replied a nearby architect
who agreed to sketch my blueprint,
“This room is definitely textbook.”
He slipped a new tablecloth (“For
morale!”) and a selection of exit
manuals in through the window.

I tossed the cloth on like a cape
and spread the volumes out over
the table, but the room began
to shake, and every cover peeled
open an eye as if to watch me.
The ceiling of my mouth vaulted
away from the floorboards,
but the furniture would not budge.

 


Katie Fewster-Yan grew up in Toronto. Her work has appeared in RoomNewPoetryThe Puritan, and The New Quarterly.

☝ BACK TO TOP