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Keeping Time

Saint Paul, 7 November 2004

Keeping mechanical time with planetary spin and ecumenical debris
And the coo-coo clock maiden’s polka at half-past the hour
My boots stomp feathery constellations of November ice
Like the soundless crunch of silence marching toward winter

Keeping historical time with a pocket watch and silver cutlery
And the toothless serrations surrounding your currency
My shoes rattle the filigree of faded love letters in twine
Like the solemn knock of a well-appointed soldier with bad news

Keeping present time with disease vectors and Darwin’s Beagle
And the deafening buzz of mosquitoes suspended in amber
My bare feet shuffle across the stark planks of a half-century
Like delusions of purpose make imperatives of discipline

Keeping future time with acidless papers and dovetail joints
And the recognition that handhewn lumber will glow as matchsticks
My foot-bones disturb the sawdust that blankets best intentions
Like the powdery globe of our own dis-integration