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 us with them,

before the trash bag finished rustling.

They served their purpose and we ours.

Time to start the important work of the day.

You said it was coffee

and a chalk-stained crack in granite

less than an hour away.

That seems like a bad idea;

may your protection hold,

and your partner be vigilant.