Eight Minutes

The sun is hurtling toward the earth and we have eight minutes to live.
I will not call my family or my friends
to tell them I love them
or any of the other declarations I have yet to declare to them or never declare enough.
The circuits will all be lit anyway, burning earnest and solemn like Easter candles.
I will not think of whoever I have unrequited love for
or the ways I've contemplated announcing it to them.
There won't be time enough to rush across the country or the county or even the city—even the city, have you seen how little traffic moves here on a good day? The sun is crashing into the earth and we have eight minutes to live. That is how I will die. Not a car crash—
to find them confused and crying in their coffeehouse of choice or on their living-room couch
and sit down beside them,
put one arm around their shoulder
and use my free hand to take one of theirs
and spit out whatever words I've rehearsed.
I'd forget whatever I've always been too chickenshit to say.
I can't put words together with no pressure
and a bright globe of fire would only exacerbate my gaps in thought.
Besides, whoever I'm crushing on
will undoubtedly have a queue of sudden lovers by the time I show up.
I have good taste.
I will not talk to God because in eight minutes I will have his face
before mine, and I know I'll want to speak my piece to it.
Usually face-to-face exacerbates the gaps in my thought,
but I can jump them in this case.
I will not recount my unstarted and unfinished projects.
I've spent years regretting them already
and I hate doing the same thing twice.
I hate doing the same thing twice.
I will realize that eight minutes is no time for anything.
So I will sleep, wherever I am, and stretch out the clock into infinity.
It's still not too late to dream.

[ 20150403 ]


Austin's Coffee. Winter Park, FL. In the bathroom and on the trunk of my car. Title and repeated line taken from Lauren, which she blurted out after dinner that night.

“Eight Minutes” is the second poem I've written for NaPoWriMo 2KXV, the goal of which is to write thirty poems in thirty days. Follow the fprg tag NaPoWriMo 2KXV to see what I write this month.