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Image by Scott Evans

An Inch or So of Time
A sundial 1823

He times everything.  Measures everything.
Like Pushkin, he ties a string around his wife’s waist.

That hot Monday night he walks her back
they walk back two blocks. 
264 feet  
covers everything that will ever happen to them.

He times how slowly
she dresses for the concert/work/ dinner with his parents
times how fast their son can ride a bike
times her contractions
times how long he can hold his breath in the cold lake
times how long he waited in that restaurant which was really a bar

times the epic migration of birds—
thousands of miles of marriage without stopping—
knowing their way back to the beginning.

A Waltz 

The first year
our infidelity is the size of a cranberry.
His fingertips pruned with a stranger’s red.
My heart expands rocking me back.

 paper, clock, mother of pearl

The fifth year 
our infidelity is the size of a baked potato. 
I rub lavender into my neck, behind my ears. 
He makes strange train sounds in his sleep.

wood, silverware, sapphire

The seventh year
our infidelity is the size of one of those balls
people sit on instead of a chair.
The office is where we met infidelity.

wool, stationery, onyx

The tenth year 
our infidelity is the size of an average human. 
Infidelity makes us sleep on the couch 
makes us walk sideways down the hall

makes us use the same toothbrush
makes us have sex standing up
next to the kitchen window 
near the heating vent.

A tin angel hangs above the stove. 
We bought her in Mexico. Hammered holes shine 
like diamonds. Her wings flower-yellow.

tin, diamonds, daffodils

Buffy Shutt is former marketing executive for movies and documentaries. She lives in Los Angeles. A two-time Pushcart and Best of the Net nominee, her work appears in Anthropocene, Paper Dragon, Sonic Boom, Door is a Jar, Dodging the Rain, Split Lip Magazine, among others. She has published two novels and her first poetry collection, Recruit to Deny will be published in late 2024. Currently, she is collaborating with younger artists on a work of eco-feminism.


  1. Anonymous

    These are wonderful! -Marlen

  2. Anonymous

    These are both Haiku and prose… a wonderful style of what is essential in story-telling. Beautiful.

    • Anonymous

      thank you


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