there is a tape being rewound in a room
i've never been in, but i can hear it slipping
past itself all the time. the clocks rewind themselves,
coiling back the hours in a pile behind their faces.
i reel the future in on a slim, thin line, shutting
it up in my notebook, hiding it in a tree, so when
i mess up too bad i can go back and have one
more future waiting. the alarm i have set for a
couple years ahead will remind me to do it again,
each infinite future designated to a new tree, any
awkwardly possible moment ready and waiting
for me to examine it thoroughly, to be young
again and again. i reel me in on a slim, thin line,
and remind myself that you only live once, and
then go to sleep. the tape unwinds, the clock
slides forward, i breathe.