Fifteen seconds, not minutes, Andy, for what was romantic
to shrink to antics, or wax antique: till squeezably-smooth talk
turns to rhetoric, shucks-and-aw tactics, a shtick or a stick-
’em-up: till flippancy flops fishily, mmm, smells like small talk
is all, all this dialogue sounds less Socratic than stock. Tick.
Ten seconds for the second thought to count, to count down, to stalk
and imprison first impressions, imprecisions, fantastic
frissons that progress into symptoms, for your mind to detox
from fame that foams the mouth, to discharge that type of magnetic
that attracts mystics, mistakes, and doesn’t skip the skeptic. Tock.
Five, and then nothing happens: no saving grace, no ecstatic
EUREKA, no hearts displaced: no moving company in Stock-
holm, and no new homes in stock: no vacant space to take in tic-
tac-toe: nothing not to give—my magic beans, the whole damn stalk—
to stop looking for that treasured X, that spot. That fix. That tic.