Michael Gushue

Space is rubber. Time is glue. Each
day tangled in its nematode hours.
The beer bottle contracts in the hand, slips
to its death on the fateful linoleum.
A week of Mondays. Then eight months
of Mondays. A man’s grab falls short of his reach.
Possible names for this lime tree prison:
Schrodinger’s litter box. Pandora’s
hopeless chest. Experiments have shown
that rats can successfully estimate
a time interval of approximately
40 seconds, despite having their cortex
entirely removed. A man’s home
is his glue trap. Some rats have all the luck.

Well, they are gone and here I must remain.
There’s a poltergeist in the chronometer—
the sunrise veers sinister, midday flies off
the clock’s handle, shatters champagne flutes.
This body is ignorant of where its next
step will be, its proprioception
chock full of legerdemain. Space is silly
putty. Time is epoxy. It stretches the face.
The midday flies swarm to your cortex.
They’re ticking inside you. There’s a wrench
in the works. A good rat is hard to find.

Michael Gushue is co-founder of the nanopress Poetry Mutual Press. His books are Pachinko Mouth (Plan B Press), Conrad (Silver Spoon Press), Gathering Down Women (Pudding House Press), and—in collaboration with CL Bledsoe—I Never Promised You A Sea Monkey (Pretzelcoatl Press). He lives in the Brookland neighborhood of Washington, D.C.