“What time do you have?”

Looking down at his watch he saw

in the smallest of flashing increments

the minute hand twitch along its


and the second hand swooping past

around the face

to pass the last notch at vertical


“Five til’ midnight,”

was the terse reply.

And yet he watched the watch

closely, the hairs on the back of his neck

rising as if under hypnotism

and his skin beginning to prickle all

over and his eyes starting to dry.

Blinking, he stared at the dial, frozen

no further ticking to be had and he wondered

briefly at how so small a thing could determine

when morning started, or when lunch began.

In the glass face, mirroring outside the bubble

dome of his mind, he saw a universe made limited

and unlimited together

the slow blooming flower

here now at the top of the hour,

his shadow permanent on the ground.