PNEUMONIA

This is material from an entry I wrote when I got a very bad case of pneumonia a couple Christmases ago. 

PNEUMONIA

Angry slowburn of fever
spreading through my
chest
I pile on the blankets
and sh
ake like hell underneath them
with my castanet teeth
my xylophone bones.
Mercury rising
till
there’s a mirage of my mother
at the foot of the bed,
calling my name
and shaking her head.

Finally I cough and spit blood
through a desert of
cracked lips
as my body burns.
The red siege on white
reminding me of
Queen Anne’s royal fingers
pricked to tenderness,
and spoiling the lace,
like a drop of claret
spilled on a wedding dress.

I know that I’m in trouble,
I call my mother
and beg her
to take the children
even though it’s Christmas Day.
As she signs off
I think she says I love you
a phrase
so oft-withheld
in
the purse of her mouth
that in my fevered state
I can’t
even be sure
she said it.

Later, I lie for hours
just thinking about that call
and b
reathing from a place that hurts,
from 2 blue vases deep in my chest
holding bouquets of poppies
that keep losing their petals
no matter how well watered I keep them.

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1 week ago

I can relate in 1997 I caught pneumonia, so sick.  Went to Urgent Care, they put me on penicillin and I got better in 5 days.  But I was so far behind in my homework.