Clock Face


I start like a slow ticking clock, wound

by your thin fingers (notched

and bald), beveled

nails catching the hem of my hair,

my naked jaw, my trapped hands,

a winking pulse in the veridical circle

of your days.

You say I am accustomed to my cracked face:

all the distortions that seem real

are not.  All the unwashed corners

of leaping periphery just

crooked lips thrown in spectrum

against my ruined history, while

I am curled like the spine of a cat

around the body of

your twinkling breath.