As I lie on a gurney in the emergency room,
my mind slips into another sphere,
a quiet place with no air, no need to breathe.
The planets swirl about me ─
Jupiter and her four moons,
but it is Europa’s voice I hear first,
a spinning shell of ice
sunlight bouncing off cracks.
Around me voices fade,
leaf-green gowns pale under my eyes,
and bands of dark birds,
geese or song birds,
fly in V formations.
I hear their call.
The air off their wing tips will lift me.
I don’t have to fly.
Dusk deepens, the sky cobalt-blue,
threads of daylight weave through.
Last chance, the last flock calls,
but my last inhale
is trapped within a space
where rain drops aren’t yet snow,
water’s not yet steam,
love’s not yet eternal.
Someone asks me something,
I answer binding.
I hear someone shouting, she doesn’t know what she’s saying.
I open my eyes,
see my child at my side,
holding me down.