He’s at breakfast, blood orange and unbroken yolk.
Every now and then he forgets and worries he’s late for work.
Every now and then he forgets and thinks she’s sleeping in.
A narrow slice of sun stripes the world map spread out in front of him on a cork board.
On the map he’s pinned the paths of a dozen famous journeys.
Muhammad’s Hegira from Mecca, the Exodus, Baffin Bay to Resolute, the Galapagos, the meandering seams of Marco Polo and Magellan.
He’s concerned about continental drift and disturbed by the disappearance of coastal lowlands.
He tries to remember the notes he scrawled on the other side of the map.
He pushes his glasses higher on the bridge of his nose and ponders his lack of foresight.
Out of date, he thinks, but what he says is, Out of time.
Now he’s tapping his foot in no particular pattern.
Now he’s patting his pockets, looking for his keys.
He doesn’t know what follows.
He doesn’t know what he should take.
His list begins and ends with water.
Dust goes unspoken.
He can feel his heart, a scarlet bird battering inside the fist of his ribs.
He coughs and his chest rattles with rubies.
He puts his arms out, palms up in surrender, and eyes the vague rivers of his veins.
He’s pinned and wriggling to their beginning and their end.