Office girls from St. Clair towers
wince from paper cuts and nylon tears
hasten to unwrap sandwiches
to dim the ticking bomb
they spot her here
she stands with the buckle tight
awash at the tippy edge, unanchored
hoary leave-taking slips beneath
sound bruises backward into time
and then there was—and then there was—
bits of old bones muddied in dirt
your hand returned to you
she gulps air, flattens grey against granite
still life leans into someone’s long forgotten sorrow.
That night, she tucks her child into dreams.
I don’t want you to die, he says
but if you do whatever you do
don’t come back and haunt me.
Up against time.