Levi Asher

on thursday, jan 22, 4:37 pm
in islandia, long island, new york
i sat in the backseat of my car, alone
in the famous footwear parking lot
near where vets
hits the expressway
for 25 minutes
i stared out the window
as people pulled their cars in and out
and rolled carts up and down
around me

i was thinking about how roman emperors once named the months

julius and augustus
novembre and decembre

and i was thinking about how the nords once named the days
odin, thor and frija
the sun and the moon, the planets, saturn and mars

and i was thinking about how the sans-culottes of revolutionary france
in 1793 created "le calendrier republicain"
to protest the inanity of everything
vendemiaire, brumaire, frimaire, nivose, pluviose, ventose
germinal, floreal, prairial, messidor, thermidor, fructidor
and then the sans-culottes named the days
bette, bouleau, jonquille
greffoir, pervenche, charme
canard, melisse, froment
concombre, echalote, absinthe
and more days, hundreds of days
and i got this idea
that we need to name the hours

i thought about this for 25 minutes
i didn't turn on the radio
i did stare at myself in the mirror
i watched people go by, in silence like a stalker
i hummed a small song
i lit a match
i breathed, hard

around me, planes crashing
windows breaking, people dying,
children lost, lovers separated
name the hours
do it now, name the hours
multiply every minute
explode every second
i believe in this, name the hours
name the hours, name the hours, name the hours ...

Levi Asher is the author of a novel, "Summer of the Mets," and a poetry chapbook, "Tiger's Milk." He is the Creative Director and Philosopher King at LitKicks.com, a community website for alternative literature. He lives in Queens and has three kids.



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