In suspended time, I watch
the gears kiss, intertwined, their
teeth fitting into one another
with perfect ease. Metal mouths
in shared labour, producing
objects lesser than the sum of
its parts.

A mind tinkers away at the machine’s
organs, tip-tapping the beating heart
abreast the congested breaths
heaving in an over-boiled temper,
seething in gasps and grunts, a glint
of threatening metallic fangs.

Time swims languidly toward the shore,
Unsure of direction, meaning, chronology,
Biting my flesh, leaving lines for
my recollection.
In laughter, they are clearest,
thrusting their happiness into
my being.

A mirror reveals them, a reflection
that is me, but not me. There but
also here. Reality slips into
a displacement that soothes
my soul, for it finally shows
the chaos I know,
suspended in uncanny

© Kat Manica

At the Call of Midnight

The clock tolls and beckons darkness near,

Humming squalléd notes, inciting fear,

Tic! toc! tic! toc! round and round the hands stop,

Upside down and right side up both hands meet at top,



‘Midnight has come.’


The clouds hug the stars, warming their souls,

Swimming together in closely tied shoals,

Gliding dreams are careworn and knotted free,

Lovers, dancing, thinking only of thee.

 Dreamers meet to explore the inquisitive night,

Treading carefully on the edge of day’s wary light,

Awaiting the charges that burden their minds,

Looking for hope and gathering all they can find,

Darkness keeps them awake in slumber-lust panic,

Bodies paralyzed, minds run, shaking and frantic,

Catching the calm that soothes weary eyes,

Floating in ecstasy, silver-lined-clouded skies,

Mysterious falsehoods and curious truths echo,

Higher! reaching towards glistening stars aglow,

Banded together in a lackluster dreaming brigade,

Each chanting hymns for all that they’ve prayed,

Dear Lord, I lay my head here every blustery night,

Securing the words that will save me from fright,

As I swim towards this dastardly sorrow,

Time passes and continues its pattern to ’morrow,

My soul wanders this realm of confuséd exploits,

My bravery courageous and destiny infinitely maladroit,

The clock calls his toll, charging all the usual head-tax,

Candle light wavers, time counted on droplets of falling wax.