The Breathing Clock

Carissa Halston

My pocket watch breathes at an incredible rate.

A nearly unwound spring





as if just woken from a nightmare,

as if reaching the top of a very tall staircase,

as if emerging after a lengthy spell underwater,

as if hyperventilating,

as if running at top speed, even when exhausted,

as if suffering from heart palpitations,

as if barely having escaped the jaws of death at the hands of a crazed Salvador Dali.

No wonder it stops sometimes.

But I always wind it again.

And its push-pull, smack-shove, love-hate, inhale-exhale rigmarole begins anew.