Dear mother, what was that paste you made from some blue tincture, into which you dipped swaths of gauze? I’d burned for a week with a fever. My voice shrank in my throat like a snail into the coil of its shell. And was that a dream as well?— At the height of my delirium, I turned and saw three women at the foot of my bed. One recited the rosary, the other watched the gathering shapes of melted wax from a taper. The other rubbed crushed wild garlic into the hollows of my elbows and behind my knees. I fell asleep, it seems for hours and hours. I drenched the sheets with sweat. Night turned its red throat away from the window. When I woke all I wanted was water: to feel its long, cool hand reach down into my new-old insides; to lie back on the sheets, remembering how to breathe.
In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.