“Zofran 4 IV”
“Brevital 40 IV”
“Etomidate 20 IV”
“Succinylcholine 100 IV”
“Zofran, Brevital are in.”
“Is it alright if we place this oxygen mask over your mouth?”
“Sending etomidate now.”
“You’re gonna start feeling sleepy now, okay?”
“Don’t worry, we’ll take great care of you.”
Air swallows my lungs.
Back arches to the crosshatched,
cardboard ceiling above me.
Head wretches over my right shoulder.
Bite holes in the suffocating oxygen.
Fisted kicks and flailing ticks
as time falls to a meandering sludge.
I watch you walk away
in the reflection of the oven,
as Sufjan Stevens sings death hymns
that ricochet against my back. You return
to take out the fish, and I feel
that intentioned gust of heat
caress my face.
I look at the tile like a window.
It’s been a week and six days
since the last treatment,
and I feel it deeply.
It wraps around my arms and legs,
binding them together—it swallows
my vision, damp and dumb and dull.
The pressure is constant
and oppressive. Coddling me
like an infant, it encases my body
and sways me through the minutes.
Dinner is ready.