We Anachronisms

In the moment Lives Between Time

met a human named Hermelinda,

an anthill, shorn by lawnmower blades,

bore its labyrinthine belly

to the hot Dallas summer.

Hermelinda watched ants worry

over their broken home,

unaware that one soldier stood

on her bare foot, poised to bite.

Lives Between Time wondered

how Hermelinda would react

when nature punished her curiosity.

Would she crush the tunnels

and their engineers

beneath a rock?


The spirit stepped into the moment

fifteen minutes after the bite,

wherein Hermelinda still crouched

beside the anthill,

a red welt on her big toe,

patiently observing the ants

carry larvae, their future, to safety.

Lives Between Time believed

Hermelinda, though human, could appreciate

the immutable, the timeless,

the universe sliced and exposed piece by piece.

In the moment Hermelinda

turned away from troubled ants

because she should get home,

eat supper, and water her fern,

a hand parted the world and

guided her to the place between

two pieces of one second divided

until it cannot be divided again.

“Am I dead?” she asked.

“Is this the world as I left it?”

Hermelinda marveled at a pedestrian

poised mid-step, his

hair swept by an interrupted breeze.

A single black strand was suspended above the rest,

but the lone gray filament behind his ear

seemed more defiant than its leaping fellow.

“Not dead,” the spirit said.

“In our state,

you may observe and appreciate,

but nothing will change

the moments around us.

Though we lost momentum,

there remains plenty to explore.

We can flip through existence.

Witness history unfurl,

beginning at the molten Hadean spark

when Earth first breathed

to this Phanerozoic day.

Watch your ancestors map the stars.

Visit distant planets:

gargantuan, wobbling spheres,

alien oceans between ice and stone.”

“Tempting,” Hermelinda said,

“but I have witnessed greater wonders

in our universe

in motion

and its eagerness to change.

Let your weight collide with mine,

with his,

with anthills and ferns.

Tell me Hadean stories over supper.

Follow me.”

The spirit hoped,

this time,

curiosity would be rewarded.

Through moment after moment after moment,


two adventurers together

tumbled forward.

“What is your name?” Hermelinda asked.

Lives Between Time said, “Lives.”

This poem is for my mother ❤


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