Giving a Watch Life


The body is an animated machine.
—René Descartes

Repair me, watchmaker. Insert your tool
into my chest, its oscillating spring,
my heart, and screw the spindle in the jewel
and the frail balance wheel of steel will ring
in silence while its tense mainspring will store 
my spunk to last a day. Then close the case
and I’ll hop downtown to a lover. Poor 
in discipline and peace, now in my race 
with night, I’ll own another day to tick
and tick. But fix me just a bit. I want
my sweet to feel my movement, touch the dial,
to open me and poke around. Then sick
of perfect gears, she’ll blow on dust and haunt 
my parts and kiss me out of time a while.


From Mexico In My Heart: New And Selected Poems (Carcanet, 2015) by Willis Barnstone. Copyright © 2015 by Willis Barnstone. Used with the permission of the author.