The cold narcotic freezes through
the needle, tingles along
the dendritic order of my veins.
‘Take five deep breaths,’ a voice says,
and the dreaming starts:

In the desert is a man
sipping champagne
and wearing a jumper
slung across his shoulders
                                It is impossible
to know his position
or gauge his speed
—while plotting his direction

I hit land
beached as a fish might be,
with gills flapping
at the desiccated air
The sand in my mouth
drifts against my tongue.

I feel my eyes roll and I
descend into a cotton-wool ball
of unconsciousness, and a wave
cold as the ichor in my blood
sweeps and pulls like a rip tide
while I drift an inner circle deeper

and the man in the desert
turns inside out.