I Have A Time Machine
But unfortunately it can only travel into the future at a rate of one second per second, which seems slow to the physicists and to the grant committees and even to me. But I manage to get there, time after time, to the next moment and to the next. Thing is, I can’t turn it off. I keep zipping ahead— well, not zipping—And if I try to get out of this time machine, open the latch, I’ll fall into space, unconscious, then desiccated! And I’m pretty sure I’m afraid of that. So I stay inside. There’s a window, though. It shows the past. It’s like a television or fish tank but it’s never live, it’s always over. The fish swim in backward circles. Sometimes it’s like a rearview mirror, another chance to see what I’m leaving behind, and sometimes like blackout, all that time wasted sleeping. Myself age eight, whole head burnt with embarrassment at having lost a library book. Myself lurking in a candled corner expecting to be found charming. Me holding a rose though I want to put it down so I can smoke. Me exploding at my mother who explodes at me because the explosion of some dark star all the way back struck hard at mother’s mother’s mother. I turn away from the window, anticipating a blow. I thought I’d find myself an old woman by now, travelling so light in time. But I haven’t gotten far at all. Strange not to be able to pick up the pace as I’d like; the past is so horribly fast. Brenda Shaughnessy