Healthy People Get the Flu Too: A Poem

Gay people are getting married in Vermont and the world hasn’t ended.

This poem was originally published in Whiskey Island Magazine and appears in the limited edition chapbook Last Night Was Worth Talking About.


Healthy People Get the Flu Too

for Megan’s arms.

THIS LIFE IS HARD is probably a billboard somewhere
I’ve thought about driving through. In Vermont gay people
are marrying other gay people and it’s copacetic.
We are still passing GO, still collecting $200. Gay people
are getting married in Vermont and there is still running water.
will probably never be a billboard I can hug. But really,
who cares where we go when we need to go somewhere?
Everyone fucks with the lights on or the lights off or with a hint
of light shining in from an adjoined room. Basically there are holes.
Something gets turned on. Something gets turned on, again.
What I am really interested in is Skittles being eaten from medicine
bottles. My friend Megan knows how to love but the one
she loves is dead. I don’t know how he died but I know
he did it to himself. This morning I woke up to tell you
You capitalize my heart, but you were already at work
so I told your pillow You are a shitty substitute for affection.
Right about now I want to call Megan and say This skin
is exhausting, I know. In Vermont falling snow
looks like chipped teeth, a postcard kept in a refrigerator drawer.
I want to tell Megan Healthy people get the flu all the time.
In Vermont I am always running warm water over my hands.
My knuckles are bleeding onto other parts of my knuckles,
but I am in love. It is copacetic.


Read more Gay Pride and Poetry on The Good Life.

—Photo credit: CarbonNYC/Flickr

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About Gregory Sherl

Gregory Sherl's first full-length poetry collection, Heavy Petting, was released last October. His newest book, The Oregon Trail is the Oregon Trail, is out this month. He blogs/reviews/interviews here.<


  1. A lovely experience reading this poem. Thanks.

  2. Eric M. says:

    Im planning to spend a few days in Vermont on vacation this summer.

    After that I’ll continue heading north up into Canada, where same sex AND polygamy are legal, and have been for years. The sky hasn’t fallen nor has the economy been wrecked by poly and homosexual people being allowed to legally marry.

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