Surviving Karen Medicine
How do you navigate a healthcare system that wasn’t designed for you?
Somewhere in Louisianapeople are happy
I’m saying too much. She probably thinks I’m exaggerating.
Destiny O. Birdsong is a Louisiana-born poet, fiction writer, and essayist whose work has either appeared or is forthcoming in Poets & Writers, The Paris Review Daily, Boston Review, African American Review, and elsewhere. Her debut poetry collection, Negotiations, was published by Tin House Books in October 2020, and was longlisted for the 2021 PEN/Voelcker Award for Poetry Collection. Her debut novel, Nobody's Magic, is forthcoming from Grand Central in February 2022. She earned both her MFA and PhD from Vanderbilt University.
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When Jack drew Rose like one of his French girls, he didn’t just sketch her; he saw her. It’s a level of intimacy that doesn’t need desire—but that doesn’t make it any less erotic.
It is not enough to be pretty. It is not enough to be obedient, or deferential, or useful. Being not a problem is not enough for a person to live on.
Disability ruins everything, these stories tell us: disability itself is tragedy. These people’s lives are over, apparently, even though they are palpably still here.