I kneel on the hardwood floor,
working on a cheap jigsaw puzzle (beached dun fishing boats),
and fixate on the puzzle's blurry, yellowish sky,
waiting until 5.
The August afternoon in Pasadena is hot and airless.
Exhaust wafts in from California Boulevard.
The fading scraps of velvet, gold and auburn, my curtains,
don't even flap it's so still.
Too warm to sweat.
The clock looks digital, but has numbers
that flop over as minutes pass.
Instead of ticking, the clock makes a sound
like pages turning in a thick-papered library book.
I will wait until two or three minutes past 5, but no longer.
That's when the sun officially drops below the yardarm —
it's our private joke.
A glass of tap water sits, ready to go.
forward anywhere lines