Intermittence

Time, which I am always breathing
in increments, begins to dictate

again its oldest letter: it ticks
in the ear, it mimics the voice

of an owl in the earliest hours
or hurtles against the screens,

a small, soft body fleeing the talons
of another. Through the fog of sleep,

I hear the swish of blinds being raised,
air exhaled from the tap then the rush

of water announcing its readiness
to cleave the dreams from your skin.

And yes I am powerless against its
intermittence, the constant reminder

of all it sweeps along in the motion of gears.
How easy to lose my place in the book I am

reading, my count in a row of knitting. But I
can’t bear yet the thought of us as letters

others will read after we’e gone. Rain falls
all week, all night; and I want to tell you

about the blue umbrella I opened when I
stepped out: how a gradient of holes

possibly made by the sharp ends of each
metal runner looked like notches

on the face of a clock: tiny, yet
enough to admit both light and rain.

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