These Long Hours

Head in my hands
I stare down at the green tiles
(In my childhood home, in my mind, I)
Cross my eyes, and see the rough squares shift
– further –
And merge
– further –
And then blur.
I can’t hold them there long.
As I fail,
They reform,
A rigid pattern of tessellated randomness,
Of little meaning,
Whole once more.

(Envious, I repeat the cycle.)

Pressure descends
Like silence after The Word
Or thunder after a horizonal spark
You close your aching eyes to shield against the encroaching storm,
But in the dark
That brief ember becomes you
Where you leave (again)
And come back (again).
These tiles of ours,
They won’t merge.
And they don’t change.

(I exist.
I have form.
I am small.
I.)

My arm falls heavy across my bended knee
The acute angle of my neck aches
A single thought catches
Loops tight around a loop
(Bunny hops into the hole – pull)
And then
Time stops.

(No clocks. No tick and no tock.)

These long hours: they pluck at your reason
In small ways
With slow hands
That stretch out from reaching arms like
Ghost tendrils,
To touch all your moments,
Of quiet existence,
Of finite possibility,
Across a sea of What-If
with no boat.

No: these long hours drone.
They sup on the past
And devour your future
And gnash the bones of the dead and forgotten
The Walked Away
Then lick your hand and whine
And roll over
And steal your wallet.

These long hours hurt.

The tiles now lie forgotten.
The mind-snare coils tight.
This moment, this moment:
Forever.

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