by Toti O’Brien

The digital clock of the stove
yellow on black, is a bandage
stretched atop a wound of dark
a finger crossing mute lips.

When I shuffle in for water, it blinks
with a fresh combo of ciphers
puzzle, game, birthdate, or the key
for a safe where secrets are kept.

A safe I should unlock, before
dawn wipes off the geometries
of my perambulation between
two sides of the mirror.

One one one, says the clock.
Nobody dares to dissent
neither owl nor cricket nor frog
not even the moon…

Twelve, it says, twenty one
which sounds like the hour
when hope is allowed, fear
postponed and danger at rest.

But they are all magic hours
says the whimsical clock
master of the house
as long as the rooster sleeps.

Smiling shyly, pink gloss on its nails
typing charades dreams only
will resolve, coding and decoding
the night.


Photo by Rok Romih from Pexels