Mortality Wake Up

Lying on a sterile table, white wax paper

crinkled under my young body—

a needle buried in my wrist.

“Don’t worry, we’ll fix you right up,

when I count to three you’ll fall asleep.”

The doctor’s pale moon face

eclipses the florescent lights.

“I bet I can stay awake.”

He didn’t know I was the fastest runner in class,

had already kissed a girl, and knew division—

I was Immortal in my mind.

He smiles, “You can try – ready?”

He snaps the latex gloves on his hand.

“One,” he held out a finger.

Ants needle up my arm, their frozen legs

marched into my chest–

breathing slows.

“Two.” Cold sweat, I focus on his fingers.

“Three.” Bitter mandibles gnaw

my optic nerves in half — his fingers fade.

I wanted so badly to make it to four.

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