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9.7.9

She sits, posed in a moment that never moves. Eyes still, red hair soft, one fallen strand touching her nose like an eskimo kiss from god or lover she has never met.

She is silent.

Eyes tangle with second hands chasing minutes. Watching time move, increments synchronized with the beat of her heart in hollows of her chest. Breathing between them, every other.

one – two – two – one.

in – out – out - in.

Exhale.

She is waiting.

Each minute a lifetime, she whispers.

From the corner of the room you watch her lips move. Soft like hope and the things you want to say. Space between you too great for her voice to reach your ears, you imagine what she might be saying, instead.

You have memorized the way she watches time, and her hands, nails unpolished, colorless tips on fingers thin, they must be soft and fragile to hold. Hands like that should be held safely, you think.

Imagine the sound of her voice.

You whisper, wonder if she can hear you.

imagine she is listening.

Move closer, ebony bar like hollows and time between you.

She doesn’t speak again.

You watch, think you might penetrate her heart with your eyes.

Might tell her you understand.

You don’t know what that means, but you know it is true.

She watches the clock, waiting. The moment she waits for forgotten. Eyes never falling to the floor, she knows enough of that already. Her posture says she has memorized each crack between floorboards in hours spent searching for some part of herself she thinks she misplaced somewhere along the way.

She is not sure what part that is, only that there is a hole where it used to be.

one – two – two – one.

in – out – out – in.

Exhale.

Watching minutes become hours become days become years become memory, wonders where the moment has gone, when it will arrive.

She thinks the clock is haunted.

You think she knows you are watching.

You say your own name.

She thinks she hears a ghost, steady gaze skips a moment on the clock.

Catches herself, wonders if that moment she missed was the one she was waiting for.

Hands twist, flower stem fingers wound ‘round one another. Intertwined like lovers, you think. Intertwined like branches, trees tucked form bent by fire, ignited by will.

You remember the time you set fire to yesterday, so you could spend today in ashes.

You wonder if she knows what that’s like.

You want to tell her about it, the day that you set fire to time.

You watch her hands, imagine spring warm fingers meet winter’s heart, air fills with silence and the sound of time.

one – two – two – one

in – out – out – in.

Exhale.

You say your own name.

This time she doesn’t blink. She watches the clock.

one – two – two – one.

in – out – out – in.

Exhale.

Wait.