Eight Minutes

And she looks at the ceiling for –

Seven Minutes

Well, that was boring, says the penguin. I thought that roller coasters rolled.

No, says the girl. Not yet –

Six Minutes

And the clock is rewound, telling a truth with each tick, a lie with each tock, golden in the moonlight –

Five Minutes

And the silver clock winds down, slow and steady, showing the future with every tick, and no one likes it very much at all –

Four Minutes

And the nightingale sings like a dandelion. It wasn’t his fault, father, it was mine, and the red rose.

Three Minutes

And the mother falls.

Tap, tap, tap on the keyboard like skeleton hands playing an instrument, taptaptaptaptaptap –

Two Minutes

And the muses fail, and the work is bad, but no one notices that the spark is gone except a fan so small no one sees them –

One Minute

And the golden clock explodes in a burst of beautiful; deadly, a cloud of truth and lies, stinging the skin

Time

and the silver clock stops.