Briana Ricotta is currently an Applied Behavior Analysis Therapist and is working towards her masters at Ball State University in Behavior Analysis with an Emphasis on Autism. Brianna loves to make a difference in the world through her photography, poetry, and passion for mental health issues. Brianna Ricotta grew up overseas traveling the world which giving her a unique perspective for life. Currently Brianna's work has been published on the Huffington Post's Blog and Tuck Magazine who has published her poems "Love would the Flu'" and "528 Days of Nonfiction".
Love would be the flu…
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.
People have strange ideas about this meal
As Camila Fitzgerald calls it.
Her older sister calls it a scroid. A munchy.
For Camila gnawing on a small crunchy, watery green stalk
that burns more calories than its caloric worth
Just whispers safety.
To Camila a meal with insufficient caloric value
has the calming effect of the socair moors.
Soothing like water cascading down a waterfall.
Or like soft yellow butterflies frolicking
through meadows of rolling Irish countryside.
Even a sunrise from the castle highest window
of ray's, orange with a twinge of gold
Like part of the home flag
that pierces the sky.
Most people think Camila crazy
when all she eats are watery green stalks
with a squeeze from a fresh lemon wedge.
But what Camila Fitzgerald states most strong willed
“I can’t afford more pounds of flesh, epically when I’m already 85 pounds heavy!”
My intimate lover.
Stings me like a swarm of thousand bees
on a honeymooner’s first night together
that’s broken up by the other women
storming in on four-inch red stoned high heels
but your mine.
Comfort me as a tantalizing cup of percolated Italian roast
whose steamy wisps tickle my nose.
Draw me near with your seductive aroma
that makes my nerves melt into a moist bending Italian wedding cookie.
Left over from Frankie the mob boss’s right hand wedding.
You, my Bonnie and Clyde
robbed America's 1930 sweetheart.
Cold, thoughtless, callous.
Oh my goodness!
I'll forgive you though, as fast as you pulled that job in Tucson.
You make me stark raving mad
from the bite of a rabid dog.
My mouth foaming white down my rounded chin.
Don’t try to shoot me, like with Old Yeller
It wouldn’t end my temptation to be with you.
Dear diary today I, Rebekah A. Humboldt is free!
From pigeons dropping on my rusted once navy mustang
that is polished in tears.
From that pickle relish packet which, squirted on my shirt
after I once force feed that foot long dog down my throat.
No more running through the parched creek barefoot
on which it’s dirt
flies up and dirtied my perfect expression.
Smearing my makeup application with grime.
Making me look like a pig in a pig pen.
Dairy, I almost died with a yellow lined task list in hand
with the black ink smeared across my withered fingers
as I slept.
It’s now torn up in million pieces and scattered to the winds.
My shoulders lower five centimeters and a half
as I script goodbye for now
I slip into my glass slippers
bestowed upon me by Rebekah A. Humboldt drive to succeed.