Sometimes it goes with a last gasp

or an unexpected bang.

The ticks tock away and the allotted span is gone.

A little knowledge lets you put

your house in order, but

too much

is too much and everyone stands around

awaiting the final chimes.

You tread water and mark time –

another year, month, week, day, hour, second –

taking what you can get

because you don’t know if the midnight sleep

is an eternal void.

The last struggling choke

and rigid fingers relaxing into