Over-the-Counter Remedies for Contagious Genuflection

"Padre Santo, Padre bueno..."
my mother would begin
while pouring medicine
to cure me
or help her sleep better.
She'd end the Spanish prayer
in the name of the Holy Trinity.
Salvation had hints of berries and alcohol.
Not much has changed
though I've ditched the pajamas
and I don't need a chaser
when downing my poison.

The taste of the syrup brings back that scene
as I stand comparing bottles
wondering if there's a difference
in the night and day formulas.
So much of healing occurs in one's head.
I rinse the plastic shot glass
as a cough shredding phlegm
rips through my chest
and transforms into self-aware laughter.

My mother's been right
about many things
but my Savior
will never be one of them.
Am I sick since I'm here
or here because I'm sick?
Whatever that Holy Ghost is
has got a sense of humor.

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