Poetry

The Assignment by Rhiannon Gessaman

She was running out of time, 
The hours passing by as quickly as sand through fingers, 
Her mind as empty as the desert sky. 

The keys of the keyboard clicked,
And clacked,
But the screen showed nonsense,
Written in a dead language. 

Her mind had poured itself, 
As thick and sweet as honey,
Onto the carpeted floor below her feet. 
She was running out of time,
And her fingers bled with a
Lack of imagination.

Her soul ached and
Her bones hollowed themselves,
Marrow seeping from her pores. 

The clock ticked, 
And tocked,
With a mocking judgment 
That made her spine shiver. 

A bead of sweat rested 
Under her nose,
Threatening to slip its anxious sodium
Through her cracked lips.

She was running out of time,
And her heart beat faster 
Than she thought it could.

The material that rested,
Nestled in her brain,
Was on vacation,
Visiting another cranium. 

Typing and crying and 
Sweating and worrying.
She longed for the good old days. 

A fetus in the womb has no responsibilities, 
And here she was, grown, 
With her livelihood hanging in the balance,
The stake of her future resting on her fingerprints.

She was running out of time,
And maybe that was how she liked it,
A rush of inspiration presenting as 
The anxiety she had induced
Upon herself. 

She was running out of time,
And it pushed her harder,
Faster, 
Toward the finish line. 

She was running out of time,
And she typed,
And she read,
And she tried,
And she bled. 

And it worked. 
She was out of time. 
But the clock no longer mocked,
And the marrow no longer seeped. 

She was out of time, 
But it was ok. 

She was out of time,
But it was finished. 

She attached her work,
Bloody with effort.
She hit “Enter,” 
And wept tears of relief.