Photo by Patrick Tomasso on Unsplash


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.


Mark Kirby, retired after thirty-five years in cyberspace at the Social Security Administration, writes from his native Baltimore.

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Published in the February 2020 issue: View Contents
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