The Bedside Book of Tick, Tick, Tick
Glen Armstrong

Every time I hear someone say
something happened
“in the nick of time,”

I imagine a grandfather clock
with a bite taken out of it.

The spiders and mice
fill their bellies with dust.

A thrice-named goddess
no bigger than a grain of rice

receives safe passage
by creatures who leave
midnight intact.

I have felt as small.
As removed from this world.

As toothless as a ghost
and as hungry.

Every time I imagine
a clock being eaten,

I desire you more.
Than ever.

Than rescue.
Than a window.

Glen Armstrong’s recent work has appeared in Conduit, Digital Americana, and Cloudbank. He holds an MFA in English from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and teaches writing at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan. He also edits a poetry journal called Cruel Garters.