I am sitting in this room with a woman’s body. She has just died.
Her mouth is open and will not close.
Her eyes are open and will not close.
Her hands are cool but her chest is still warm.
I kneel by her bedside.
Her shoulders are small and bony, like mine.
Her hair is soft, softer than I expect, and white.
I pray for her safe passage, at least that.
Beyond that immediate journey, I wouldn’t know what to say.
I wait. The mortuary pick up is delayed.
I wait. I read the book in my bag, I meditate some, I open the windows and take a phone call.
I wait. The mortuary is still delayed.
Someone messages me on Instagram.
I open the app and read the message then start scrolling.
I stop on one short video, a baby being born by c-section. The doctors hold her little shoulders and just say, gently, over and over to each other, “Don’t pull… don’t pull… don’t pull. See how she comes on her own.”