“Variations on the Moment of Apprehending the Extent of One’s Responsibilities” by Craig Morgan Teicher

A businessman stands casually with his hand in his suit pocket.Variations on the Moment of Apprehending the Extent of One’s Responsibilities

1

that minute subdivision of time
during which the full consequence

flickers, just before the door clicks
shut but just after you could have

stopped it from shutting, when
you realize, your hand already

seizing your empty pocket, that
you have left your keys inside

2

that useless subdivision of time
in which what really happens

could never have been
prevented—it yawns so wide

though you can barely fit
a blink into it, like the moment

just before the door clicks shut
but just after you realize

3

you have left your keys inside.
So many things are unsatisfactory,

like the moment, like the baby
monitor, like your hand already

seizing your empty pocket,
useless. Consequence

flickers, what really happens
could fit behind a blink

4

that useless subdivision of time
in which what happens could fit,

flickers, could never have been
prevented, is so unsatisfactory

like the moment just before
the door clicks shut but just after

you could have stopped it from
closing with the back of your foot

5

your hand already seizing
your empty pocket, as if you could

go back, your keys inside,
and begin again, take your clothes

off, crawl back, deep into bed.
So many things are unsatisfactory—

that you have left your keys inside,
that this is when you realize

6

this could never have been
prevented, that what you realize

is not only useless but infinitely
painful, because minute,

irrevocable, like the baby
who flickers in the video monitor,

a blink in which the door clicks shut.
You could never have stopped it

7

till now, just after you realize
so many things are unsatisfactory,

just before, your hand already
seizing your empty pocket,

the full consequence flickers
behind a blink that is now

your measure of time, useless
because it already happened.

 

This entry was posted in poetry, time and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to “Variations on the Moment of Apprehending the Extent of One’s Responsibilities” by Craig Morgan Teicher

  1. What a wonderful look at time, its passage, and the consequences that cannot be undone! Loved it.

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