rena su

"CHARACTER STUDY ON TIME"

the timekeeper put fountain pen on
barren dirt with the agility of bone
and began to write
a memorial. fingers
crackling cadaverously;
dissecting hearts

of greek philosophers instilled in marble
and of alchemists with ichorous eyes.

the timekeeper knows them all too well—
they want to transcend time,
to be known for as long as the cosmos
they want to make themselves
a name;
carve it
into pearls of kerosene;

crease it
into fertile soil
whose honeysuckles

jail them in the illusion of endless grandeur, albeit Time
knows that they fade with the day.
(for Time is the giver,
the novelist sitting in an ambience of thunder
penning out finales)

emperors and martyrs have tried to live forever
tongues drenched in mercury. hearts stitched
to philosopher stones. bare skin
coaxed by the reflections of supernovas.

(yet they unearth from the barren dust; eulogies
sung by beings of stone
Time croaks its anthems and marches in beat).

Rena Su is a writer from Vancouver, Canada, and the author of the chapbook Preparing Dinosaurs for Mass Extinction (ZED Press, Jun 2021). Her work has been recognized by Simon Fraser University, the City of Surrey, and the Pulitzer Center. You can find her on Twitter @RenaSuWrites