Speedometer decades approach escape
velocity—this seventy business is gape
of a vacuum—quick sixty too, too fast
a minimum, that couldn’t last.
And it gets quicker, time, getting to
the speed of light. And then black,
whimper of the bang way back,
an erstwhile sun night-absorbed and through.
The fleshy lilies dried up, turnt thin
and aged, like veined parchment skin,
two weeks of perfume burnt as they prepare
(flame-tongues the thickness of thin air,
what was time’s spirit, fragrant, visible)
matter for time’s magic act,
trick of disappearing fact,
subtraction from a past that’s got too full.
Published in the February 2020 issue:
Mark Kirby, retired after thirty-five years in cyberspace at the Social Security Administration, writes from his native Baltimore.