Love set me going like a skeleton watch:
your voice wound me up, a look pushed
the hammer struck the gear;
pretty soon we were syncopated
ticking out a rhythm.
I wind my time when I remember.
I keep its gears bared,
measuring me in taut increments:
rationing my allowances,
budgeting my attention,
counting down the wait
'til next time you and I coincide;
then I'll forget to wind, it and my faces will
Around you I forget my time, detest the reminder
we are lent hours. But I check
nearby displays in a panic--whether I make the bread line
or not, it won't stop rationing out
my piece of your company.
I pretend I can ferret the constellation of your freckles
away in a jar for a rainy day.
I pretend I can collect the softness of your voice
like a magpie obsessed with small memories.
I lie persistently while my watch scoops out the day
in medicine cups.
My watch and I know I can no more hoard
your love against your absence than
ripe fruit against the wint