by Rose Raphael
Who was it who told me they saw the calendar year
like a carnival’s Ferris wheel? January at the crest,
that month of false starts and few flowers. And time
moving forward, spangled in lights. It’s possible that
I’ve mixed all this up. Maybe they said the year was
spatial like an analog clock. Maybe summer was
noon and midnight both. Maybe they never said
anything at all. I’ve never wasted a moment of my life.
But I wonder if it was worth it. Shadowed night, 1999.
Newlyweds try to fathom the minds of strangers.
Twisting a lock of hair around my finger, I watch them.
My parents had known each other for weeks then.
They would fall in love, or fall into something like love,
decades later. This rope of keratin in my hand, taut…
what would happen if I cut it? 2022. My parents are
less than pleased about their daughter’s orientation.
Sexual. Spatial. Temporal. I want to be anywhere,
anytime but this conversation. What did she think then?
Just graduated, serving her suitors chai. In a different
life I would ask her. A different time. Now we multiply:
Brides in red saris, mailanji fractalling across our arms.
I’m not married, but in some future I might be. Reader,
the long line of a clock’s second hand — instant of
clarity, moving plane — that’s where we’ll finally meet.
Rose Raphael is a student, poet, and painter. She enjoys hats with personality and the color turquoise. This would be her first publication.