All the whirring, gold clocks have stopped but one,
stalking his salt-stained galleon as it skirts
the lone island's murky, turquoise lagoons,

fleeing toward that last refuge of scoundrels:
the open sea. At dusk, he almost swears
he hears it ticking away in his chest,

his heart winding down like that water-logged
timepiece buried in the vast belly of
Pan's beast. Every night, he dreams of Big Ben.

Eyeing the red horizon and nursing
a bottle of black rum, sometimes he thinks
he would prefer the sudden jaws of death

to this tedious business of playing
middle-aged villain in the land of youth,
always waiting for the tell-tale tick-tock.

Author's Note: June 13, 2010.