All morning I’ve been stuck
between curtain up and blackout,
pulsing in and out between a stage of bright lights
where the air smells of antiseptic,
and a pile of stones by the shore of a stretch of dark velvet
I’m supposed to believe is the sea.
I’ve never had a gift for ad lib,
especially in this non-life
where the pace is all wrong.
I should have made my exit
when I had the chance,
before they swarmed over me
hovering in their blue paper robes
wearing faces like masks,
lips curved in unnatural shapes,
close your eyes.
you won’t feel a thing.
The worst scene doesn’t take place
in the operating theatre, but after,
trudging through the anesthesia
of so many costume changes.
I lose all sense of direction
before coughing and opening my eyes,
no deus ex machina,
just a buzzing yellow light
pulled close to my face
and an audience
at the edge of my bed.