Denise Bergman

At the End of the Day is The End of the Day

A minute in its creaseless uniform in a row of cadets, salutes

Dusk can’t contain the torn sky’s entrails

A half-past-nine like all the others but its own half-past-nine

An unpassable valley between tick and tock, the scout reports back

The scout measured: distance equals length times time

Distance circumnavigates time

The prisoner’s minute was beaten out of him

My minute looks like your minute but isn’t

Freighted, bubblewrapped in a cardboard box, minutes

Boxcut the flap, lift them out one by one

Thirty schoolchildren’s eyes on the clockface at 2:59 is a half-hour

The scout reports: the minute to come has already gone

Accumulated “a minute longer”s don’t add up

 

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