A milky white syringe carried you

and all your thoughts off,

pausing your life

as you ascended into the void.

I easily discarded it, as a matter of routine—

just cleaning my workspace.

I had taken it from a crisp, neatly folded blue towel

and didn’t want any clutter.

That syringe, and many more besides,

lifted, pulled, nudged, and belayed

you through a temporary oblivion

so that, at some length for us but in no time

at all for you, you could discard us

and un-pause your


life, taking your time with us as seriously

as you might a trip to the DMV—

a necessity, but only because

someone else said so.

You threw away your black and white wrist band

and bright-colored tube socks.

From the look on your face, you’d half-

forgotten them, and...

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