it looked like you got locked in. the gate swung shut behind you and all i heard was click.

click click click click.

seems like that’s all i’m hearing. click, there’s the cocked gun. click, the lights are off. click click click go her heels. and we hear the clicking, the tic-tocking of time racing infinitely faster than i ever thought it could. children think summer stretch into forever. i thought this would be our summer, but instead you live on the other side of a wall that i fear to look over-

did you want to be in there? i didn’t know. still don’t.

you’d never been prisoner to time before. never once gave it second thought. it was you, always you who had said slow down. live in time. enjoy the second. they never last. but locking seconds into our memories always did. i still have our young ones.

when we were a child, we always knew these things: staying up to watch the sun was our greatest joy, but waking up just at daybreak our greatest sorrow. if we missed it, we’d lose. if we closed our eyes, turned the light off – click – it went. the thickness of light mysteriously staving off dark never ceased to cater to the budding curiosity that made a home in our frontal lobe. when we stayed for this, with eyes open, committed to the budding song – it was all a rejoice. there were no clicks.

now that you live on the other side, though, i no longer stay up. without you i no longer live in the world of live in time. i speed on, from wakefulness to work to lovemaking to chores to sleep. repeat.

where are you? the gate is so thick and the wall so high. do you feel safe in there? i sent you in to come back and tell me if summer lives there, but you left me out here and i’m freezing. seems like you don’t care. in one second there was one click and now i have a thousand things to do and a million things to fear and-

are you a prisoner? if so, i forgive you. goddamn you, i forgive. i’d pray to free you but i don’t know how to pray in the dark. open up the hatch – is the sun coming? does little us live there too? hello? i’m shivering. i’m alone. i’m-

the prisoner.