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In the Shadow of the Clocktower

Date Written: October 27, 2017

From his podium the old conductor raises his hands,

His quartz heart begins to beat the tempo:


Kali’s tears form a calcium crust,

Epitaphs scrawled in an infertile heath.

A blood river runs over revolving cogs,

The sun exits the sky, disappearing in a gust:

A heaving breeze, your last breath.

The numbers are on your face.

Thanatos gazes at Saturn with lust,

Scarlet on the hands of Lady Macbeth.

Chime. Morse stars. Wooden skeletons.

When the bell tolls, grief is a must,

And a watch sits on the wrist of Seth.

The corpse of a steel Chronos decaying in rust.

These are not laughter lines,

For between their folds is dust.


I stray from the pack in the shadow of the clocktower,

Lingering here till the twilight hour.

My seed will not bloom

Before the closing of its tomb,

And even then it will be a wilted flower.


The symphony ends.

Twelve apostles, seven horns

And a bent sundial.

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by Christopher O'Sullivan
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