Time


Days, half awake, immobile as old men leaning,

Hours stacked in untidy piles around the room,

Minutes stretched along the walls like arms, unlinked-

All immune to the pale blue infection on the window’s breath-

Lounge, cow-eyed

In the tedious drag of shadows across the floor.

And me?

Forced to spend what seem like years

Making patterns in ceiling tiles,

Watching the leisurely dance of dust settle on the slowly tasting tongue of sun drying on the carpet,

With each blink a novelty -an unexpected marker-

I feel time physically now.

It is an object,

Not as the soundless tick of something on my wrist,

Or the arbitrary sweep of points around a circle.

It is real-

As real as the skin that stretches with each breath

Or the weight I carry with me in the chair;

It pushes at my thoughts,

Separates and softens them.

It sits like an anchor inside my chest

Defying me to move,

Settling all the while, like gravity, further in.

At times it burns, swallowed half-chewed,

Force-fed in each breath:

A worm eating patiently deeper.

And yet it is a soft-grey porridge boiling over,

Coating word-bright seeds,

Planted in a darker bowl behind.

It is a body-bag, this Time-

Not at all the process I had thought.

Not a measure, not another way of pointing north,

It is the monkey on my back,

The sentence never finished

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