exorcism

Shingles made it onto the canvas too. Of course it did.

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“I’m sorry you have shingles,” E said. But I’m not.

Shingles is an exorcism, driving the pain out from where it’s been hiding in the roots of my nerves. It blooms on my skin like phantom fingerprint flowers.

“Go in peace,” it says, as the scabs fall away.

There’s still an ache in my arm, my shoulder, my chest. But now it just feels like my own ache, and not the combined ache of generations of my ancestors.

Thanks be to God.