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.”

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