Featured Poem: Tempus

By Boomer Pinches


ANY MOMENT NOW I ran away from home. It was only my home
the way an ocean is only water. Most of the days passed me by

but a few of them I had to carry myself. The villagers talk of phantom
limbs, those parts of you gone missing that you can still feel. But do they

still feel you? Shrugs, embarrassed sighs. The village is practically a city
by now and I’m miles away. Any moment now the clock is invented.

Life becomes a countdown and anything you love can be held
against you. My first night on the island I counted stars in the basement

of a museum, with only broken statues for comfort. Any moment now my wife
will be born to parents who hardly recognize her. Everyone else is already

accounted for, everyone else is virtually family, though not my family. All across
the fulvous plain, they await their purpose. The fires in the hills signify nothing

more than their own wonder at how readily the world around them burns.
Cinereous earth, cinereous sky. The heat you feel is just matter fleeing itself.

All the next morning I speak with phantoms who mistake me for their home.
I count down the days until the villagers move into the museum. Children

will press their faces up against the glass to have a closer look at the world
as it was without them, they will elbow each other out of the way and warm

the pane with their breath and wonder how it was we were ever anything
but these terrarium creatures frozen in lament. Here is my promise, wife:

I will recognize you.


Via Narrative Magazine

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