No Time

He had no intention
to leave her
or her

because he had no time
to say anything, to do anything,
to decide who wasn’t worth
the little time he had
to keep the little company
he’d keep.

He wasn’t all bad:
sometimes he said he loved her
and her
sometimes they felt so special,
so appreciated
that he’d make time for me,
or me,
or me,
that they would waste time in thought,
while he slept soundly
in one bed or another;

a life so scheduled and secure,
so formatted and fondled,
that time made him its lover—
a caress of ticks and tocks,
a quiet murmur in the ear of minutes passed.

He could have told the truth,
if he’d had time.
He could have let them each down gently,

but for him, it felt like time instead wasted,
a practice in which he did not participate,

until fate,
intervening as it does,
would stop the clock:

a tick, one gone
a tick, the next,
a tock, the last,

finding they had the time
he didn’t,

and him,
forced to make time to see them go.

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