Snaking through the transparent, saline-filled tubing,

the white mist swirls into your blood with

ephemeral whispers. Your cortex succumbs to chemical

promises of separation. I wonder: does your soul

hover as the surgeon niggles and tinkers, or does it

embrace the communion of solitude, carrying the flame

nearer your amygdala to burn in a primal country?

Here, the divorce is sudden, and we are left to think this

anatomy is you! We missed your light’s furtive

release from this worn soul-holder, this crumbling

vessel of clay that houses your long-wicked candle.

Escaping through the cracks as the surgeon cuts,

you sojourn in shadow elsewhere, but will return

in time as the propofol ebbs from your blood.

Some emerge gleaming bright, anxious for reunion

after being away. Others pause at the abysm,

delaying re-consummation. How will you return tonight?

One candle here, I wait, burning myself. Ash and smoke

rise in the OR to greet the chary one who wafts back to

kiss the body: your soul folds in, like saline through a vein.