Walk­ing Pneu­mo­nia: A Work­ing Class Sick Femme Prayer

Room Magazine - - EDITOR’S LETTER - LEAH LAK­SHMI PIEPZNA-SA­MA­RAS­INHA

Soak your chest in Vicks, girl.

Sho­plift some oil of oregano.

Thyme in boil­ing wa­ter, put a saucer over the top. It’ll bring out that golden oil. Honey

Get that phlegm up.

Mucinex, yes—it’s a won­der drug, it came from an herb from a coun­try some of us come from.

But mostly, rest. You can’t do “just a lit­tle bit of work.” You can’t “go on just a short plane ride.”

A roasted onion and some mus­tard in a com­press on your chest.

It’s cheap. Hit the $15 com­mu­nity acupunc­ture clinic. They will tell you to rest.

There’s a real risk of walk­ing pneu­mo­nia. But you knew that.

We walk through pneu­mo­nia all the time. We walk and roll through ev­ery damn thing. Yeah, I know it’s con­nected to grief. There will be more.

Chest aching from the bark­ing cough. Moun­tain of pil­lows.

Chicken soup in the freezer. Cedar tea from the cor­ner tree:

I’ve been there. I can work­ing class-femme-MacGyver my way through any sick and tired.

Make it to and through the air­port with my in­haler, cane, Clar­itin, and Yin Chiao. Then my body col­lapsed, in­sisted I rest.

Work­ing class femme lungs spread like aching, con­gested but­ter­flies, wings beat­ing but slow, slathered with ev­ery home rem­edy but rest.

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