with a pocket knife he slices off
just one minute each year. glinting & small.
soft as a peach's face & sun-staring bright.
slips them into his knotted socks
in the bottom drawer
where no one will open them,
releasing their quickness.
he knows both of time's rapidity
& its wideness. when he was a child
often he would linger in the shadow
of his father's golden pocket watch
perched like a canary in a glass case.
between the twitches of the hands he'd house
fantasies & wave break & fairy homes.
so much could transpire in a measurement.
fingers dusted gold. secretly, he made watches
with extra hours for the most kind patrons.
then, for others, he folded time in half.
in the end, he knew it wasn't right.
mashing pace like this. the clockmaker
was supposed to create order. measure every skeleton
in the same container. i couldn't bear it though.
time was elastic. jumped from his hands
like tadpoles. ached as lichens.
as he slept, he could feel time ebb & flow
around him. opened his eye just a peep
to catch a second. glossy & gnat-sized
as it tried to skirt past. held the second tight
before stowing it in the drawer with the rest
of his savings. soon, he would cash it in.
soon he would make his own day. loud & thick.
alone in a world of only past.
until then, he wound his heart each morning.
the sun ate handfuls of sidewalk.
kept the drawer a secret. set out with his work.