How many times can you

watch the horses spin around so steadily

before you see their sentience,

the buried interior of more surfaces?

Not the pumps and gears themselves

but their metal skins, rustless.

Beneath the glazed china,

the chipped teeth

in forever-gaping mouths,

silver cogs move and pulse,

clucking like tongues,

conversing in iron, steel,

the cold dialect of nickel.

How many boli of propofol,

how many uneventful surgeries

before you stop worrying? Listen:

it is just as likely for your patients,

unresponsive on the table,

to realize what’s happening

by the surgeon’s hand

as it is for these horses,

wide-eyed in their spinning parade,

to wink at you.

But how many times

can the carousal turn

before the animals seem to whinny?

How many times can a body

slip into unconsciousness

before it starts to remember?

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