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Sublime  •  10 September 2021  •  Fiction

Time is Elastic

Photographs by Rachel Percival

By Erin Ewen
Content Warning: Eco-anxiety

Ready or not

here I come‭.‬

so ripe‭ (‬when we are young‭)‬

it bleeds from our fingertips‭.‬

I’m still young‭,‬

yet the art of play

dries up in front of me every day‭.‬

The User is Now Busy

yet

life feels absolutely endless‭.‬

‭ ‬

Maybe next year

weeds will grow over the tarmac‭;‬

dust will topple the skyscrapers

water will flow freely‭.‬

‭ ‬

The demise of civilisation

teaches us‭ ‬

how to‭ ‬play‭ ‬again‭.‬

‭ ‬

Things grow because we plant them

Things work because we build them‭.‬

Nothing will move for a very long time‭.‬

Only the beating sun

to remind us that we are all alive‭.‬

‭ ‬

The elastic arms of Time

will stretch around us

warm‭, ‬receiving‭, ‬impossibly firm

Where was‭ ‬I‭?‬‭ ‬Time will laugh‭, ‬guttural

I’ve been here all along‭.‬

Time flies when you’re having fun‭:‬

But when I was seven‭, ‬every day of summer

sat unmoving in the shallow riverbed

before my mucky feet‭.‬

‭ ‬

Time immemorial‭:‬

At first‭, ‬I didn’t understand

how we moved so fast and so slow

all at once

until I was flying down that dirt road

and lost my balance‭.‬

I slid over that gravel

like a little fish on ice‭,‬

as it tore my knees apart‭.‬

‭ ‬

‭(‬The jacarandas are opening‭. ‬It’s almost my birthday‭)‬

‭ ‬

Time is of the essence‭:‬

I pulled myself over that cattle grate and crawled‭.‬

Past the hibiscus in the driveway

to my mother

into my second life‭,‬

where time became incredulous to me‭.‬

‭ ‬

Here we go again‭:‬

A swift‭, ‬cool breeze‭,‬

the lizard detaches its tail‭.‬

How we shriek with excitement‭.‬

Forever and a day spent‭:‬

killing time

I guess‭, ‬it all comes

a little too late‭.‬

‭ ‬

Time is money‭:‬

Excuse me‭, ‬do you have‭ ‬it‭?‬

No

‭(‬Sorry‭)‬

I guess we are out‭. ‬

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