‘It was Time,’ they said at the front desk. They were right.
Time had come down, turned in the room key, and gone out.
‘What about Space then?’ they said at the front desk. Second sight
would have helped them understand what was about
to happen, or had happened, as the thin red line
between conflicting realities unravelled.
In the mirror-filled hotel restaurant, Death took a shine
to his own reflection marvelling how he’d travelled
from a There to a Here in a fraction of a Now.
Waitresses turned grey. The head waiter waived
the wait-to-be-seated rule and gave a bow
to Death. ‘They all do,’ Death thought, ‘as if it saved
them answering when I call.’ He ordered toast
and wondered which – Time or Space? – missed him the most.
This cannot be the blues. There’s no guitar,
just a rinky-dink piano, and someone crying,
and driveway gravel ploughed up by a car
that’s scratching off. There’s always someone dying.
Is today my turn? I’m standing tall at bat:
strike two, ball three, two out, the bases loaded
and a pitcher with no face beneath his hat.
He throws down like a Gatling gun’s exploded.
I don’t even see which ball home runs my head.
Lights flash and vaporise, go slowly out.
I try to walk to first but fall instead.
I see — I cannot hear — the umpire shout
as the pitcher drives up in a silent car,
its hood ornament a stringless steel guitar.
Nothing holds its own today.
Death that lurked has come and gone.
One more spirit taking flight,
one less left to share this song.
Clocks wind down and no one cares.
In the noon sun I see night.
Strange how nothing live prepares
you for a soul that’s taken flight.
People group around and grope
for the right words to explain
how time will heal the hell they know
nothing is the same again.
Can you hear me where you’ve gone?
There’s no answer anywhere.
Not a note. Just rain descending
and the feeling that you care.