Jul 132011

by Lois Bassen

At the moment of anesthesia comes a choice,

brief and unreal, as through the vein comes

cool and wet what breathing through the mask

would little slow, but awake it is also no easy task

to feel a polygon become a sphere, my sums,

zero.  I tried to focus on the voice

of the anesthesiologist who told me to take deep,

easy breaths.  Though costumed in nakedness,

I wanted to resist playing my painless part

among masked others, call out in wakefulness

that anesthesia was another deceit, like all art,

and I would wake to pain; then along the dark diameter

I was moving where great constants are irrational number,

which, repeating, carried me into finite sleep.