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Beat the Clock

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The goal is to beat the clock
to tap your feet faster than the numbers move
to get a head start with years to spare
then race them as they drain away

to move your eyes faster than the pages turn
but you can't account for an accidental wind
and racing faster as your eyes drain
you suppress that draining in your mind

but you can't account for your trembling fingers
because spoon-fed coffee doesn't slow it down
and though you suppress the racing of your mind
your control is nothing when the pages stop turning

drained cups of coffee don't make a slower race
but what are heavy eyes through such a long night
your control means nothing when your head is too heavy
that weight that remains in your facing and pounding mind

heavy eyes drain the length of the night
while a heavy mind wastes away the day
that weight to hold in your racing and pounding heart
in two turns of the hand the night arrives

a heavy mind can waste a whole life
can pull you down until the race stops short
because in a few more turns there's nothing but night
and you spent your life trying to beat the clock




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