63. Beauty Shop

In the end, we had to inflict peace upon her.

Hospice found the magic drug cocktail

to make her lie down in green pastures.

I help the nurse wash her tiny body,

because everyone else has a job today.

“You’ve really been through it, hon,

haven’t you?” the nurse said.

It’s my first time to see my mother completely naked,

not just changing clothes. I think, You lied.

You knew how sick you were, and you hid it.

There’s nothing to hide now as the sun streams in.

Every scar every blemish every part that should be cushy

is skinny and every part that should be trim is distended.

There’s new evidence of disease.

It’s like washing a corpse (I guess). Mom can’t move.

The nurse is sweating. But when she washes Mom’s

hair — oh! There is a sound, a sick, drowning sound,

but the nurse and I both know that Mom is saying, “Oooh,

I just love to have my hair washed!”

“We’re going to the beauty shop,” the nurse says.

“Gonna get you all pretty.”