I Guess That’s Why They Call It Time

Stephen Livesey Ashworth

(For a friend who had to do some time.)

Cold sunlight falls across the bars
And draws a crooked puzzle on the floor.
The shadows creep to mark the hours
Until they reach a locked and bolted door.
At night I only smell the grime –
I guess that’s why they call it time.

The ringing phone reveals no clue
Why nobody is answering my call.
I don’t know what’s compelling you
To hide yourself behind a soundproof wall.
My heart is breaking, lover mine –
I guess that’s why you’ve called it time.

Beer glasses line up on the bar
With sour dregs of psychotropic brews.
A drunkard lights a fat cigar
And slurs a litany of vile abuse.
The floor is wet with pools of slime –
I guess that’s why they’re calling time.

Two twins upon the event horizon:
Last time they met, they synchronised their clocks.
But now they face a fact surprising:
One young, one old: why such a paradox?
One flew a different world line –
I guess that’s why they say t-prime.

26 January 2008