June 29, 2005


One in a rush of bodies,
a living wave of motion,
I stepped off the ferry...
cars and sea behind me, land ahead.

Slicing the thickly salted air in my hurry,
I watched the dock pass
furiously beneath me.

I drove each step into the future,
pounding it back with my hastening soles.
I pretended not to be terrified
by yesterday grinning at my heels.

His stillness caught my eye as I passed.
Oblivious to splinters he leaned,
leather elbow to worn rail.

Barefoot and dirty,
he challenged me
to pause a moment,
to admire.

I tried, but didn't understand.
My thoughts were with tomorrow.

Shaking his head,
he fixed his eyes on the horizon,
watching it approach.

Suddenly, my breath stopped in my throat
as he stood
so still,
and I saw him at last.

Tell me the time -- your pallid wrist seems tremendous with hours,
with every minute and day that has not been mine!
Lend me your tattered watch so that I may have an eternal moment like yours.

Give it to me!
I am desperate for it -
even breath, daring gaze, standing still -
make it mine!

But he shook his head once more,
and, smiling, unclasped his watch,
letting it slide slowly past finger and earthy thumb.

As it clattered through a gap in the warping dock,
its ticking disk caught,
briefly suspended in time (which continued without it)
before dissapearing quietly in the dark water below.

And he eased by me,
eyes up,
into the past.

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