The gases rose before I could stop them
or even notice, and then I forgot where I was
or what glorious fatherland I was serving
or what my name was, or anything.
For some reason, I thought of pebbles
in the creek when I was a girl, how I
picked them up, tasted them, slid them
under my tongue and ran, with never
the faintest idea that I could choke.
Prompt: Imaginary Garden with Real Toads (a Soviet sci-fi poster).