Dreaming of Time

There is no pendulum
slicing the air. Metal pinecones hang from chains,
measuring time in gravity.

Instead of the cuckoo,
it’s a flycatcher’s mad swoop,
the wasp, still wriggling in its beak,
swallowed whole. The bird recoils into the clock face,
doors swing shut behind,
then silence.

Today, I learned that you are living
in fast forward. You tell me how you’ve aged into an old man
who will never grow old, how you want to unwind

the hands. I nudge them back
before midnight, stand with my ear to the wood,
listening for a beak to softly peck, for gizzard gears to grind.
The dial hums below my fingertips. I press
my thumb across the doors
and wait.

Can you hear it where you are? Crickets strike the hour

in a separate darkness.

Lorrie Ness is a poet writing in a rural corner of Virginia. When she’s not writing, she can be found stomping through the woods, watching birds and playing in the dirt. Her work can be found in numerous journals, including Palette Poetry and Sky Island Journal. She was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2021 and her chapbook Anatomy of a Wound was published by Flowstone Press in July of 2021.

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