KEEPING TIME

 

Her footfall like an afterthought

at the edge of your hearing

made you wonder how such a sound

could contain even a touch

of personality, the barest hint

of someone worth remembering.

 

The day held its light. The night at bay

it seemed for good, you marveled

from the safe distance you maintained

at how the heart’s rhythm, incessant

so long as we can know it, is heard

only when there is around us

 

some mimicry of its beating:

a clock’s tock sounding the depths

of an unfamiliar room; cicadas

scratching at dusk; this walking away

over dry stones; the breaths we count

alone in any breathless hour.

 

Lucas Jacob’s poetry and prose have appeared in journals including Southwest Review, Barrow Street, Hopkins Review, Western Humanities Review, Unsplendid, and Birmingham Poetry Review. His chapbook, A Hole in the Light, was published by Anchor & Plume Press in 2015. Jacob’s first full-length collection, a finalist for the Eyewear Publishing Beverly Prize, is forthcoming in 2019.

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