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.