This time on my neck.

The nurse apologizes
for the pin prick and sting
of the needle, numbing
tender skin.  No,
I don’t feel anything sharp

So the doc proceeds 
to slice, excavate, cauterize and stitch me up.

No pain,
just pressure, the smell of burning flesh, tugs and snips.

Beneath the surgical drape,
my vision is reduced to opaque white;
the paper crackles next to my ear.

The doc and I chat about the vacations
we’ve decided not to take, this pandemic year.

I feel both acutely aware, and disembodied.

Afterward, the doc says,
You know the drill
(for post-surgery wound care.)  Yeah.
I could write the instructions myself.
His eyes smile above his mask.  He pats
my shoulder.

And that’s that
until next time.