empire mean time, a poem

3:09 A.M. PHST a 41-year-old leans back from her sewing machine, her lower back is tangled rope but she is behind her quota

12:09 P.M. MST a 79-year-old woman staccato respiration, alone
she feels the sweat gluing her hospital gown to her flesh. This will be her last breath and she wants to see her granddaughter Rose

1:09 P.M. CST The 28-year-old woman hears the knock at the apartment door. Static from a radio sings through the wood. The deputy says she must vacate

2:09 P.M. EST, a 41-year-old, jean clad man climbs a yellow rope. He has broken through and rage smells like stale cigarettes

9:09 P.M. EET The seven-year-old boy shivers, the nurse has no antibiotics. Gazan moonlight strikes the window

12:16 A.M. IST, a 23-year- old driver drinks red bull, he is too tired to read the textbook, the Uber app has been silent for two hours

2:16 A.M. ICT a 16-year-old limps and wipes the blood from her lip, her pimp thought she was hiding some of the pay

2:16 P.M. EST A 55-year-old waves the yellow snake flag in the Cox Corridors. He’d like a selfie by the frieze of the invasion of Mexico City

8:16 P.M. CET A 60-year-old clutches a wine cork and waits for the laptop to chime. The bond market is soft and it’s time to buy

9:16 P.M. EET A 51-year-old-farmer holds the shotgun. Shakes. The golden wood of the table is gleaming and his bankrupt field sings in the snow 

11:56 PM AFT A 28-year-old huddles with two children as the Americans break down the door. Her son’s cheeks are warm and wet. A blue plate drops from a shelf and breaks into triangles

©2021 Mary E. Croy

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