I drive the swab up nostril wide,
Wince hard, ignore the pain –
I push it deeper, deeper still
Until it scrapes my brain

I feel it touch a spongy place –
That grayish mass behind my face –
But then I see a babbling brook,
And all the roads I never took

A flash of color – deeper still!
The smell of sulphur – deeper still!
The cochlea, my swab has found,
And I can hear a ringing sound –

The other nostril, just the same
And not a lick less odd –
I poke my mind and soon I find
I’m face to face with God

These days I never need a drink
For when my life is dull
I simply take a COVID swab
And jam it up my skull

—J. Wickline