Katie Condon

Time Is a Figment a Phantom a Fabrication a Memory

When you are a parent time is a figment a phantom 
a fabrication a memory though you think of it constantly
its eggy time its park time its nap time its lunch 
time it’s walky time it’s time for num-nums it’s bath 
time it’s time to say night night say night night 
if time was ever perceivable it was when we were single 
when we had it in excess there is no time left alive 
to kill when we say we’ll be there in no time we 
have never meant it more literally there is no time 
left we don’t have time on our hands we have 
puke in our hands time is the invite to the party 
we never got time is the good shit 
we can’t afford time is the speed-streaked wetland 
outside the train window time whatever 
it is makes your child impossibly 
old he says banana-nana time he says milky time he 
growls like a lion on command you aren’t 
ready you didn’t have adequate time to prepare he 
takes his first step toward you he takes 
his first steps away

Katie Condon is the author of Praying Naked, winner of the 2018 Charles B. Wheeler Poetry Prize. Her new poems appear in or are forthcoming from the New Yorker, American Poetry Review and the Academy of American Poets' anthology 100 Poems that Matter. Katie is an assistant professor of English at Southern Methodist University.
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