Pap sleeps with his mouth and nose
encased in a triangularish plastic mask
that pushes air pressure into his lungs
to keep his body alive longer.
Darth Vader springs to mind
or Lloyd Bridges under the sea
or the hatchling from Alien
or somebody in a war zone.
The dread with which he approaches
the mechanical squid, as he calls it,
conjures up illusions of leeches
squiggling down into his throat,
drowning in a kindly dungeon
under the supervision of good cop—
what is the difference
between kink and medicine?