Echoes of Voices Past

Clocks Like Dinner Plates

by Bethany Lynch

I am obsessed with time

The minute hand rotates

As my mind deviates

While my inert calculator calculates

I stretch the time

And cut it between my knife and fork

I mince it into tiny/ little / pieces

And I try to see how many times I can move-

Around my plate

Without ingesting them.

Time is dense like chocolate

Cake, which is why I’m afraid of it

I’m afraid time will make me fat

If I take in too much

It will be so excessive, I will not

Be able to digest all the seconds/

Or minutes/ or hours/

That I devoured

The hours

Slow down my heart like

Egg nog

The seconds

Slip past my lips

Like water

I am obsessed with time

And it makes me look longer/

Look harder at the clocks all around me.

They tick endlessly in bright/ white disks

Like dinner plates

Full of uneaten/

My mother says I am as thin as a coat


And I need to eat something substantial;

But when I see the spear/ the hatchet/ the shovel

Which sit innocently next to the clock of ticking time

My body feels queasy/

My mind is uneasy/

About your eyes watching this measly


The clock ring as the kitchen bells sound

Still found with mounds/ pounds of

Uneaten food

“I’m full,” I tell you.

And you say, “It took you 45 minutes

To eat 3 bites”

And I respond saying, “I calculated the time

Before I sat down at the clock

I crawled to the table

Like a prisoner

dragging his numb

Feet to the executioner’s gallows.

I have tallied the amount of jumping jacks

I need to balance

The seesaw.

I have counted the laps

My teeth circumnavigated/

Within my mouth/

Like you counted the minutes I used

To eat three mouthfuls.”

I am obsessed with time

I sit from infinity to infinity

At the table/

As the food stays still


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