i measure time with distant, winter memories
of freezing places and icy roads
and quiet nights alone in the snow.
i measure time with the houses i’ve lived in
and the color of the carpets
in all the rooms i have slept.
i measure time by the friendships
that have passed
and the jackets that i’ve worn
and the songs i’ve stopped listening to
and the drawers in the desk
that fill up so slowly
with unimportant things
that i can’t quite throw away.
i measure time through the faces i know
but haven’t seen in years
or the calcium deposits on the drain
or the things that made me cry
but now barely move the gauge.
i measure time with no consistency at all
without uniformity or precision
or any form of structure
or a strict, reliable system.
i measure time by the days without rain
and the rust on my guitar strings
and the missing hairs on my head.
i measure time with seasons and holidays and
violent storms and national disasters.
and with every day that passes,
and every year that sinks or floats,
i increasingly place value on the smallest
units of measurement,
the dog in my lap,
the salt on the table,
the drink in my glass,
and do my best to love the process of keeping
my eye on the world,
while i still can.