Lives of the Watchmakers

Surely there are teeth so small.
I have listened for their turning,
this frail swell and fall

like old blood yearning
upwards through the skin of days.
Slowly, I am learning

their count, though numbers fray
in me, and the loaded instants
graft, coming always

to the same tangle: the distant
cry merging with the song
at hand, the rain’ s insistent

opening in daylong
dryness, the plain moon
draining into dawn.

And below it all, hewn
from the pliant light of some
Geneva noon,

they spin time’ s thrum.
Stopped, I have bent my ears
to them. I have become

sound inside their years.
Surely I have known the whole
of grief and grace in gears.