there’s an atomic clock ticking by my record player table

By Kate LaDew

there’s an atomic clock ticking by my record player table

it’s able to recalculate itself, blinking at the same rate as the world,

accurate to infinity, dropping down to the hundredth of any given second,

cooling atoms to absolute zero,

measuring clouds of fountains, atoms tossed into the air by lasers,

all this sits by my record player table

I watch the thick vinyl turn, looping out sounds that will be stored in my brain for eternity while everything else trickles through my heart like rain

they say ted williams could read the label of a spinning record from 60 feet away

I wonder if he counted the stitches on every baseball,

one by one or twos or fives, flying towards him in wavering lines,

atoms are weightless in the toss, invisible to any human eye

would ted have caught them with his bat, sent them over that great green wall in splatters?

does it matter if we’re all one second off?

when it’s finally time to die will we raise our hands into the air,

grasping at something we’re told is there but have never seen?

one eye on that atomic clock, the other blinking with the rhythm of our slowing heart

give me my last second back, we’ll shout at God

you owe it to me after all this living



Kate LaDew is a graduate from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro with a BA in Studio Art.

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