It's the chance we did not have,
that metered stroke of a second before we knew
you were leaving, its luminous hand
unscathed by effort in the reigning darkness
like the sand in the hourglass our fist
could not keep from seeping into the lost
and forgotten. The moment was not ours.
The moment we would not have imagined,
borrowed briefly and returned to oblivion
in the aria of chimes played
by the mantel clock on the hour,
or in the wet glimmer of a kiss that we blew
into the open space we never
would have entered, telling us it's over,
or in the grief of leaving a single word behind
had we said goodbye in time.