The Clock

The month she asks him to leave there are signs: earthquake, hurricane, a dead rabbit on the threshold. In retellings, she will claim to have buried the corpse, but in truth she scoops it with a shovel, puts it out with the next day’s trash. For weeks she arranges and rearranges piles—plates, cutlery, bedding, photographs—as if solving a complex equation. The day of his departure, the mantel clock stops. Inside, the dead cell oozes into gears, and though she scrapes away the corrosion, a new battery is not enough. Still, the hours pass, though not exactly as before.

Elizabeth Hazen‘s poems have appeared in Southwest Review, The Threepenny Review, Salamander Magazine, Bellevue Literary Review, and other journals. She lives in Baltimore.

Photo credit: Robert Klurfield

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