Howard Firkin
(a visit to my dentist)
There is a state beyond pain when the mind
dissociates and every sense is wonder.
Masked figures hover, music, warmth—I’m going under—
no longer numb, no longer so inclined—
I’m rising like a trout into the light—
Forgive me. I have spent my days for nothing.
My mouth is gurgling like a winter’s drain.
The talcum on gloved hands. I thought to gain…
What was it? Something. Surely there was something.
Receive me. Tell me everything’s all right.

Is this the way you’ll have me die? Like this?
Their busy hands as light as butterflies
that dip and feed… forgive me… but I miss
the point… appointments… watching how he dies…