Saint Elizabeth’s

Sarah Long

 

My body is an ever-changing clock—

spastic springs and gears never settling,
never keeping proper time.
Bodies carry bodies in pockets, on chains
like skin-scented heirlooms. When my grandmother
died, she left me her first kiss, the ticking sound
of summer asphalt and peach fuzzed legs.
I see my mother’s handwriting on the chart beside
my bed: Sarita has always been a dramatic child.
Her face gathers humidity like tears trapped behind glass.
Dr. Winnicki advises me to rest, but never to fall asleep,
while he looks for cures in different time zones.
His clock is all bent and rusty snow, melting into
creeks where salmon spawn alcoholic fishermen.
Clocks line up on barstools in Wuuhstah,
“How’s about a beeah?”
Nicotine-stained vowels, romancing beers like wives.
Before becoming wives, girls sway to the music,
twirl their skirts with love. Their pink and red fingernails
tap out the seconds between handsome wristbands.
Tell me what you’re really thinking . . . I don’t want to know.
Nurse Alma sees too many words in my future, where she says
nuts chase the squirrels, and clocks are ever-changing bodies.


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Sarah Long was once on the masthead of Two Hawks Quarterly, and now she's just a bio line. Still, she's delighted to be included in the publication.