Dali's Clocks
by Joy Hewitt Mann

    She has stopped cleaning the toilet,
    making the bed,
    used to her own scent and expecting no other.
    She has taken to reading the phone book
    looking for familiar names. Putting
    her life into perspective
    makes her think of Dali and she pours
    another drink,
    marvels how the walls melt into the indoor/outdoor,
    how all her doors open out and never in.
    Trees fly past windows
    trailing rubber tires, wings
    beating to the rhythm of her own slow heart.
    She makes a wide circle round the livingroom rock
    thankful it sheds some light.
    Snowshoe-feet make it to the bar where
    she pours another drink.
    The snow is deeper here
    reaching to her knees and
    she lifts high
    not fooling anyone,
    she tells herself.

    When you tongued your mother in innocence
    you set yourself up for this;
    the bump on your head as she pushed you away
    nothing compared to the corner of guilt that caught you
    in the heart.

    Her mother has been following her
    her whole life. She is
    the weasel that is night
    slinking over the horizon;
    she is the burning of liquor down
    your throat;
    she is your throat
    tight and full of slime.

    She coughs
    willing the phlegm to drip away like Dali's clocks.
    Time, she thinks, looking,
    should start at three.
    Her edematous fingers drop the glass
    as she stares at her ghosts.

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