by Cecilia Knapp
I watched my mother form
her new body. Cheekbones becoming violent,
hips clucking to meet skin.
I would wash her as she used to wash me,
holding a small plastic jug under
the warm water and tipping it over her back,
her edges broken by bubbles.
That night was like any other night
in the hospice. People quietly dying,
except we ate ham and pineapple pizza
in her bed. Watch out for the men,
they have the upper hand, she said smelling salty,
shoulders poured against a medical pillow.
Then the next day, when the doctor said
she needed to eat more, she laughed,
told him she had waited her whole life to be
this thin. I laughed with her.
When I try to replay her voice
I can’t. This small slice is what I have.
A woman who is happy with her own shrinking
in the last few weeks of life.