Self-Portrait As A Person Who Needs To Hurry Up

I’m not even getting up, not looking up or lifting up my head, or turning my head, there isn’t time.  Not even opening my eyes—as long as your eyes are closed you’re not even thinking about what you’re going to see or what you need to do about it, not turning on the light to see what you’re not looking at, or getting up to look at something, I mean it’s not a museum.  Not waiting for anything:  reluctance is a waste of time, as is impatience, run and stop, run and stop.  Right now I’m lying down on the floor, pushing up my hair and resting my face on the ground as if I’m punishing myself before anybody else gets around to it, or before anything goes wrong, it saves time later on.  Sometimes I need to hurry and then I need to wait, hurry up and wait—I don’t know if it’s a good idea, what if it’s your only idea?  Isn’t everything the opposite of its opposite?  Not holding my breath or filtering anything out, there isn’t time.  Of course, it’s important to use all the time you have, it’s the best use of your time, not even hesitating, when you hesitate people think you don’t care or you’re hiding something—hiding something you don’t care about.  I mean it takes time just to move from one room to the next, like a kind of decompression, I’m not thinking if it happens or if it doesn’t happen, I don’t even have time.  I’d actually like to speed up, I’m trying to speed up, but it takes too much time.  Everybody’s caseload is increasing, largely because there are more cases, I’m picking things up, picking up where the others leave off:  when I need more time I’m not even sure where it’s coming from.

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Peter Leight lives in Amherst, Massachusetts.  He has previously published poems in Paris Review, AGNI, Antioch Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, FIELD, New World, Raritan, and other magazines. 

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