Issue 156, Fall 2000
From where she sat she could see
a sundial, but she couldn't read it.
Time was a brush fire burning somewheres,
haze on a distant waterplay.
Small but mighty birds raked a rattle across a slate.
Behind the hedge, she sensed a shadow pacing.
Panther? Or Pavlovian? Evening would find her,
ivy wrapping her delicate ankles. A church bell rang once.
The invisible vicar lit a candle and cursed
the beggars who loitered noisily outside.
A tide moved. In the sky, strange Sirius.
Siren girls sang somewhere. A boat rocked. She could see
nothing, really. No clairvoyant forecasts.
Did dark descend? No. Dark seeps womb to wind
through tiny vessels underneath the epiderm
and tangle with nighttime. Hello? It was the Pavlovian
and here he was. Barking at the fruitless peach tree
defuncted how long now? Oh, surely years.
She thought of a clock face in the form of decision,
peach-tinted mother-of-pearl seen in a shop
at the corner of Eighth and E.
Sunlit smoke flitted behind the bell tower.
The boat backtreaded the current. A mouse caught
by a kitten was just then released and ran by.