The earth, not its black dirt but the fire at its core,
draws everything in—our houses, our bones,
even time, the seconds
passing more slowly at sea level than in the mountains,
more slowly on the bottom shelf of the bookcase
than if you hang the clock on a wall.
What should we do with this knowledge? Spend our summers
walking briskly in the thin air of the mountains
or dozing on a towel gritty with sand,
one of the islands that will soon follow Atlantis, its monuments
and its trash cast equally into the sea?
An old game,
asking what you would do with an extra hour
if you had one. The rules won’t allow us
to return to that meadow
soaked in dew, stars shooting across the August night,
your younger self in the sleeping bag next to mine.