Her stopped heart set all the work in motion
a team to extract tubes, unhook fluids
and turn each machine off in proper order

I used the half bath inside the hospital suite
to down the Diet Coke I’d saved on a shelf
then did what my sisters said I shouldn't—inserted myself

I spread the curtain sheers open, piled laundry
followed the nurses on what to toss in blue biohazard bins
then followed everyone out with her body

watching as my mother's flat spine rose and fell
with each pneumatic tilt of the gurney

And laughing

How she could sleep through anything
thunderstorms and earthquakes
the tornado that shaved the family farm

Her snore in corpse pose
(Shavasana at the end of yoga)

And how I tittered in the corner of the elevator
accidentally pressing the floor we were already on

How the doors opened silently before us, again
forcing us to breathe
one last time, the cool draft of her gone.