Lisa Konigsberg

What if, like a clock? 


For Charles Armour

When someone dies you must mourn.
There are rules about how
we lay someone to rest.

While the body waits to be interned,
what is my old friend thinking,
his mind winding backward?

We cannot know how the mind finally stops, as we cannot
know complete silence in this world.
–What if, like a clock,
the mind slows and waits, hands on 2 and 10pm,
waiting at some stop light to go again?

What if, like a clock with no hands to mark
seconds or minutes, the silence is immediate,
but there is a glow radiating from somewhere
behind the stilled numbers on the face of it, and
that light cannot be ceased?

What if like a clock in a tower,
everyone looks up every day to measure
their own progress, and out of habit do this
even after the tower is gone?

What if, like a clock,
the face of the watch you wore on your wrist
in that casket that bore you into that frozen, bare room
kept ticking,
the face made of diamond, like a star not burst yet,
and you there, bearing it into that place where even you don’t need watches,
clothing, cars–
or my sorrowful tone thrumming against your still soft temple of skin?

What if, like a clock,
all that is left is that sound,
the one we cannot hear, but forever strain to?


lisa-konigsbergLisa Naomi Konigsberg is an instructor at West Chester University. Her recent chapbook of poems titled, Invisible Histories was published in 2015 by Spruce Alley Press.

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