I set my watch which has died and watch
as the hands sweep past the phony hours, filled
with dread at the suggestion,
that this is how it always is. You're invited

to a school reunion and notice
that twenty years have suddenly passed, as my father
always said, in the twinkling of an eye. And you feel
cheated, feel spent, guilty—complicit. Drifting
with the current when you should have rowed.

But really it is not so bad, there's a great generosity
also at the heart of things. Time, pregnant,
can swell: the dewdrop hangs impossibly long
on the leaf; the wave holds its crest, then pitches forward.
Can run. We power through three sets of tennis.

The summer afternoon that turns to dusk, soft
lights, the choir of crickets. That passage.

There is the time that drones on like
a great box fan—and we lose ourselves
to blankness, we doze, we are wasted.
And time that presses us, urgently as the man
his hand upon the trigger, sensitive, attentive,
waits—is at the ready, poised.

                             We need our sleep.
We need also to see the bottom fall out
of the horizon, plunge headlong
over the falls. And swim, always swim.