The Doctor Readies The Breathing Tube

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Centimetred grace: coiled like a whip,entering a place where one can sing,or choke a note. Jiggly jangly, the tripdown the throat a long tunnel, no light

at the end. And if you could sing,it would be catcalls: hiss, hiss,and the clunk of machined air hittinga lung. Whump. O hissy fit,

O life-and-death teetertotter,you are messenger only. The message?Breathe. Hiss. Boo. Spotterof the poetry of the carina,

weightlifter of air, see-through,dependent upon hands and necksand other bridges, you just pass through,your scratchy sound often capped

by the heavy O of stoma,I sing of you, I sing of youloafing in the gurgling dramaof a man about to die.Will you go in,inserted like a comma,like a swan-neck,will you sneakup there like a supple snakein the gargling laryngeal grass,will you save the wreckthat cannot speak your name,tongue inverted like a commaand the relatives asking Why?and you saying Hiss, hiss.

© Neilson Shane