• By Tamar Fox (she/her)
  • Art “Out of Time” by Kate Fernandez (she/her)

I had just been bought at the antique store. The day we had our first encounter. She had only glanced at me before walking up to my face. Her face against mine. A pale face with tanned freckles that speckled her button nose. Her hair flowed like a river of copper and red with highlights and hints of golden silk pieces of thread. She had green eyes. Turquoise, transparent orbs that spiraled into a darker center, like a galaxy, with bright specks and a black hole that I instantly got lulled into. I could see my reflection then. I too had a pale face with delicate hands that ticked and tocked with each hour. My face was outlined with a smooth, dark, thick ring of walnut wood. Her soft hands glided my edge. That’s when she took me off the wall, and I was hers.

I was perched on the wall in her main room, when I last saw her. Every dawn, she would open the blinds and then drink from a steaming cup as she watched the sun rise. She would always open up a very petite jar, and empty two white pellets in her hand which she would bring up to her mouth to swallow. Another sip of her cup.

Around the first 11 and for the next couple of hours, she would tap the keys on her piano. Her fingers would run lightly over each key in a legato play—fluid notes connect to weave a beautiful melody perfectly compatible with each morning. This was my favorite part of every 24 hours. I felt more connected to her with each play. Every sequence of eloquently decorated notes elicited her spirits, high and low, which brought me closer to her every time. There was no other way that these unspoken words could ever be conveyed directly to me.

She would often come and go as the sun would set. But inside here, alongside her laughter and dance, her art, tears, and fears, I watched every moment.

Every ticking hour was torturous to be stuck, glued to the wall. I wanted so desperately to depart from my perch and to be twirling with the sound of a symphony together, our hands intertwining.

One morning, she opened the blinds and drank from her steaming cup as she watched the sun rise. No pellets as she had stopped consuming them.

Around the first 11, she played her sweet piano sounds again—slow and mesmerizing. Vibrations tickled the back of my face, and I was put into a deep, enthralling trance.

Later that day, she left. Hours upon hours, mornings and nights, she did not come back. I never saw her again. ▲

A man came and took the clock down
from its perch on the wall,
tossed it aside,
not needing its call.

It shattered into pieces.
its love unrequited.
Left in the trash,
and forever omitted.

But the clock still ticked,
and he still dreamed,
Of the girl he loved…
the life he had deemed
Of his pure,
strawberry blonde.