Monday, 1 June 2015

On Time

(Place your hands where you please)

It’s been set up
The custom-black couch, the embroidered
Gold watch
The long corridor with water tanks,
Barred windows.  The backstage
With public access, so not a full truth
Only half
I watch my reflection in the glass
I have already drank

I rinse my laugh
As the doctor says
‘You will mature over time,”
The body  hung, as by  wire or  vine
Like an exposed joint above the fire.
I nod for the  flames to swill my sides.

He says,
(making the note of fingers
On my face, tracing the lumps)
Raised mouth ignites like a match’s nub
-          You have time yet
I already watch my wrist in greedy snatches
As if looking for a pulse

I am out of it
As ‘they’ would say, the audience  in the wings
Of the provincial angel
Pulling the crown
Of triumph
Over the eyes as the child still sleeps.

Or keeps, time in the palm
Like an animal plucked from space
Like a wish, a metaphor
A habitat missed

Too ashamed, like surveying the catch
Consciously, of fish now hooked
Yet knowing that is losing time
And looking for the line, like something stitched

Yet rather than had, it is something told
In silence, on the last platform, alone
Its paradox of in and out is given, found
In the hands

Yet is never known. 

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