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Half-Past Gone

The minute hand waves a black fist in the air

as it cascades forward. Tediously teetering

on the edge of that chair with the broken

left hind leg. I was late. I was late. Beads

of sweat cascade from my forehead down

onto the Santa Clause place mats. Fixated

on the black figures creeping up on me. No

brightly colored bird begging to make his

grand entrance. I am the cuckoo. I am

the cuckoo. Left living life from the corner

of the dining room table. Waiting for

the typical tick     tock but it’s all in your

head. Bury the expectations into the cruel

crevices of yesterday. Feet fixed on the

linoleum staring back at the blank face

on the avocado green walls. It will not blink

no matter how long you stare at it. Perfectly

perched in the center with hands that can

never wrap around you. She was there. She

was there. Pulling prominent eyelashes

from my cheek to make wishes for tomorrow

whenever she got home from work. Setting

alarms to blare the next morning at

fifteen minute intervals. Digits never as

reliable as the “real thing.” Don’t be late

she says. Don’t be late she said. Hands

hesitantly collide to form 11:15 PM. Her

shift would have ended hours ago. I blink

as a hand waves goodbye and I am left

with only time on my side.

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