The clock in the breakroom sways—becomes
a metronome when the train idles outside.
Regret gathers in this
tower—I could crack open
lacquer window to slip down
the shiny corporate siding—slide fast—no
web in the wrist to break—The Fall.
No imagined resonance of a century
before. When did gas lights turn
to fluorescent beams bulbing from this
is-it-almost-five o’clock sky—does the sky
gaslight me into the belief it is
much later than the ever-recurrent clock lets on?
Clockwork-rotation wave-measures—I think
of taking this broken body—of climbing
into the departing train—it flies by in
increments each day—the pulse of a cloud
passing the mirror-sheen—of slipping
into a freezing sea that waits
near the end of the tracks—just a short
bus-trip away—from these clouds—I count
the cents in my back pocket.
But there is no coming back from this Fall
or the sea.
And I only have eight minutes left.
Kari A. Flickinger spent her childhood wandering aimlessly through the mountains of Northern California. She was a 2019 nominee for the Rhysling Award, and a finalist in the IHLR 2018 Photo Finish. Her poetry has been published in, or is forthcoming from Written Here, Riddled with Arrows, Door-Is-A-Jar, Ghost City Review, and Mojave Heart Review among others. She is an alumna of UC Berkeley. When she is not writing, she can be found playing guitar and singing to her unreasonably large Highlander cat. Find her: kariflickinger.com; @kariflickinger.
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