Wormwood

by Margot Armbruster

mama, remember your cool hand
on mine. remember, I was twelve
and consumed with thinness.

remember you lay beside me
on the starchy sheets and talked
about healing. about your own

mother, how you became
a kite, straining away from her.
about the summer your hair

knotted up like moss
in the shower drain. mama,
remember I asked you why

you decided to live. and remember,
you pressed your fingers
gentle against my forehead,

remember, you spoke
in a low voice about the chapel
ringing with sound,

the amber light streaming
through the windows.
you told me you cried. I cried

with your arms wrapped
around my back. I cried
because the body can never

forget. mama, I cried because
I can never forget that winter,
the winter the body I tried

to carve out of marble became glass,
the winter I held death in
my mouth and proclaimed myself

full.