The Nature of Time (Chill and Sweet)

Tue, 10/29/2019 - 07:24 -- egats



I opened my eyes closed

(As I often do)

A sacred apparition:

The Olmec calendar

Its cypher illegible 

To my kind.

I hear her footsteps

Plodding on the creaking boards.

She’s coming to take me

To the museum. 


Her hands chill and sweet

Like brainfreeze

The hair on my shoulders and back

Rise to point under their bumps.

Spastically, my eyes roll in 

And out. The olmec calendar is

A fast fading quagmire.

We are there at the museum

And I am lost because 

I know where I am


Every distal location

In this space is connected

By so many spools of twine. 

We come to an exhibit

I half winced and half smiled

Her arm around my waist

Someone might have noticed

My shivering if it hadn't been for

Both of our chests quivering

Letting out wisps of snickers

At this display of myself

Asleep in my loft. 


There are no clocks here

But I have the feeling

That I’ve lost ten minutes

Of my memory. 

Like a flash-pan

We are walking among a great procession

In a grand hall. 

Its vaulted ceilings are

Made completely of twine

And gas lanterns brood

Up and down the immense passageway.

No light such as the sun or the moon

Emits from either direction. 

The texture of twine stretching out

Past the perimeter of shadows

To darkest shadows,

The depths of which

I cannot begin to fathom.


A corridor is revealed and we know

Without being instructed

To sit within the presented

Array of plastic chairs.

They’ve been made for

School children of about the

Second grade.

Her frigid hand on my knee,

We rest uncomfortably

In the back row. 

About 30 silhouettes

Lean to each other.

Muffled phrases, 

Flicking and whispering tongues. 


I take my hand and put it on her’s

So cold I have to force myself not to retract.

I feel her great compassion

I want to plunge into her memory

Like one does the freezing ocean.

I couldn’t help feeling 

A deep despondence

Imagining how her life’s embraces 

Had never been full,

Wondering if the pain in her eyes

Was really just indigestion.


A dignified appearing woman

Wearing a suit-dress 

(Its technicolor fabric

glittering and flashing

A great multitude of colors

And geometric shapes as well)

Began to make a brief

Introduction to film that we 

Had been invited to see 

Within the space of the museum.


It was a documentary about

The nature of time.

I was so distracted 

That I couldn’t tell you 

Much else on the topic.

The words of the narrator

Began to make me feel so sleepy.

I shrank into my chair

Eventually noticing that I was

Missing the ice block on my thigh. 


Stammering to my feet,

I turned 45 degrees toward the great 

Twisting hall of twine

And I found her

where my body still lay

Sleeping in the exhibit.

I was of course mortified

To find her snickering once again.


I began to make an inquiry

Of her manic laughter,

But before I could phrase my words

She was running up the

Squeaking boards.

The wall of woven twine

Shifted, churned, 

And the wild-tongued 

Face of the Olmec

(With its propellers and gears)

Greeted me like dawn. 


The cool wind bristled

On my back.

I remembered her easy

Breath, her eyes closed open...

And so-longed for

The one I’ve never met. 



This poem is about: 
Our world



that was amazing.

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