The snake has grappled
my throat. I think I am about
to re-enter stone.
Note: as well as my own respiratory condition and the Roman Emperor's last joke, this is loosely based on a piece by Shiki, written shortly before his death from tuberculosis:
Masoaka Shiki (1867-1902):
hechima saite tan no tsumarishi hotoke kana
The snake gourd blossoms.
My throat is blocked with phelgm.
I am already a Buddha.