The Calendar and Other Rectangles

Clayton Krollman


Our bodies are filled with
tiny clocks: fingernails, hair,
the tumor put in you by some invisible hand
that has replaced how we measure off the months.

This month at a glance:
the tumor has gone from softball to
no less than four fights
about nothing at all,
and I’ve spotted new crops of eczema
on both our bodies from the stress.

We can replace the calendar and other rectangles
of the house with our bodies.
Beds, mirrors, the cosmic math
of a good photograph, every screen. I dare you to
eat sushi off me without getting hair in your mouth.

Remember one of the fights now—
I spend too much time on my phone
and drag it from room to room
like something to be solved
or nursed. To the dog, it is my earless
rectangle of light.

We have yet to learn
the almost-animal ripening
in your belly is not cancer. After
your surgery, we will need to find new ways
to tell time against your organs
clicking back into place. Maybe
I will buy cantaloupes for every hour you were sick
and bring them to you, where
we will measure our time by
taking a hammer to each one on the hour
like nailing brains to the kitchen table.


Clayton Krollman is a graduate of the University of Maryland and a former intern of the Jiménez-Porter Writers’ House. As an undergraduate, he studied English and Education while writing both poems and blended fiction. His prose and poetry have appeared or are forthcoming in Moon City Review and THAT Literary Review. Clayton lives and writes in Asheville, NC.