I stopped turning—stopped turning when all that was left was snow and dead leaves. There was a tear in the black top hat, a dismounted carrot and broken leg. Two dead field daisies, preserved in ice. I listened to the wind breathe by.
I half-expected tumbleweed in the road, past the red mailbox and snow that looked like asphalt.
The rake was thick in my hands.
You told me I was too involved in the details.
So I spun spiders into water, their legs bent and rotating like a clock. Synchronized watches.
Time dribbled by in the mouth of a sink.
I wanted to feel the wind in my hair again, cold snow to turn my fingers blue, hot sand grouped like cities under my fingernails. You asked me to “wait…wait,” as though it were a way of speaking to birds.
You handed me a diary.
The binding was cracked, the cap of the pen broken. You removed my conflict of interest, tore off corners of pages that surely had flowers.
I write September 18, 1942. I write to Death.
You are like a fence post, He the long crooked road.
I am the shadow that chose to ignore you.