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it doesn’t have to be monumental i thought as we left the forests and headed toward cornfields. i thought it again when i cut the dead weight from my hair and again when we spread her ashes down a hill.

in the room the cat alternates between green velvet couch and radiator. it is january and there is a coldness in me that i cannot heat. i’ve been sick for a week. my mother has been sick nearly my whole life.

stare into my eyes. light the candle on the table. fill the cup. add the sauvignon blanc. stir the risotto. stir the risotto again. check the moisture.

i am so tired of this body even though it has been good to me.

i text mom about the lifestyle change. she’s eating clean because she has to. i come from a long line of women who don’t cook. i send her recipes and tricks i’ve learned as an adult. go for easy without too many greens. once a man asked me what i ate as a kid and i try to remember but nothing comes to mind.

my grandmother calls me. the same diagnosis as my mother. she doesn’t want to go to florida but i lie and tell her she’ll feel better once she is there and has made herself at home again. i tell her that if she doesn’t bring enough pants, they have stores in florida, it’s no big deal but it is okay to overthink. i overthink too. did she find comfort in that? it’s either this or the nursing home.

shave the parmesan until a finger bleeds. the house fills with sirens and crows. wax on the table. pants unzipped. i am so tired of this body even though it has been good to me.