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.