Thick Time

Tracy Fuad

Even strangers
Would advise me
It was just the hours
That were long
Or was it nights
No, yes, the days
Were long
Belying the shortness
Of years, they would say
The lying 
In belying
Seeming to transmit
Some truth about time
Which I was tired of
Being likened
To a worm, cat, cone,
Or mother
Though obviously it was not a line
Of any length
Or width
Which the physicists confirmed. 
Sometimes it was minutes
That sped or lingered
Gathering in a glut
At dawn
Or vanishing 
In afternoon
The traces of the day
All over me at night
A stamping of the hours
On my surfaces
Which were prone
And subjected to the scrutiny
Of gazes and precision
Of locality
I was always somewhere
So exactly 
In one place
Geography appended to me
Like a limb
Like the baby was
When feeding
Contusive to the landscape
That was me
Casting new shadows
As I strolled 
Past the casts in plaster
Of two torsos
Propped since March
Against a post-war block
Of brick 
From which a figure
In a morning mantel
Watched me
As I watched him apprehensively
Making my compulsive calculus
How often I did pass here
How frequent were his pauses
On the balcony
How likely or unlikely
Was the meeting of our eyes
In that preternatural spring
The blooming of the dogwood 
And the lotus persimmon
A decorative plant
I identified with an app  
When I walked in the mornings
While the baby slept
On my body
Doubly slowed
The premature forsythia 
A sort of warning
The forecast 
Promising snow
Though the snow never came
Rather it was hail
That fell that spring
And knocked the blossoms
From their branches.
The grief would be
My pocket was filled
With my hairfall.  
Ice is abundant
In the Solar System. 
How do you force
Apple blossoms?
I hardly know
My life. 
Fruit falls
When it is ripe. 
Outside the frozen rain 
Is pattering the spring.