Mortality estimate, life expectancy the sand,
invisible hourglass handed over by a doctor

(this once, not wearing gloves), little bottle,
prescription of one day a day, no refills.

Hand grenade. An empty urn that has been
pre-engraved with best-if-used-by date.

An erosion, top to bottom, losing ground.
Used the guess to calculate, translated into

months, counted slowly with a finger, found
the anticipated final square upon the calendar.

Did not share the projection, merely took
red ink and marked a question in the space.

Reluctant to remove the pen, turned that
final point beneath the curving symbol into

a circle, a little window with no shutters
open on unknown.

In response to/inspired by Luisa A. Igloria’s “What could we know” and Dave Bonta’s “Camping.”

Laura M Kaminski (Halima Ayuba) grew up in Nigeria, went to school in New Orleans, and currently lives in Missouri. She serves on the editorial teams of Praxis Magazine Online (Nigeria) and Right Hand Pointing (USA). Her most recent poetry collection is Anchorhold, and The Heretic’s Hymnal: 99 New and Selected Poems, is forthcoming from Babylon Books / Balkan Press in 2018. More about her poetry is available at

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