Danusha Lameris
The Watch



At night, my husband takes it off,

puts it on the dresser beside his wallet and keys

laying down, for a moment, the accoutrements of manhood.

Sometimes, when he’s not looking, I pick it up

savor the weight, the dark face, ticked with silver

the brown, ostrich leather band with its little goosebumps

raised as the flesh is raised in pleasure.

He had wanted a watch and was pleased when I gave it to him.

And since we’ve been together ten years

it seemed like the occasion for the gift of a watch

a recognition of the intricate achievements

of marriage, its many negotiations and nameless triumphs.

But tonight, when I saw it lying there among

his crumpled receipts and scattered pennies

I thought of my brother’s wife coming home

from the coroner carrying his rings, his watch

in a clear, ziplock bag, and how we sat at the table

and emptied them into our palms,

their slight pressure all that remained of him.

How odd the way a watch keeps going

even after the heart has stopped. My grandfather

was a watchmaker and spent his life in Holland

leaning over a clean, well-lit table, a surgeon of time

attending to the inner workings: spring,

escapement, balance wheel. I can’t take it back,

the way the man I love is already disappearing

into this mechanism of metal and hide,

this accountant of hours

that holds, with such precise indifference

all the minutes of his life.






Found In Volume 45, No. 06
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Danusha Lameris
About the Author

Danusha Laméris’s third book of poems, Blade by Blade, is forthcoming from Copper Canyon Press. She is also the author of two other books: The Moons of August, winner of the Autumn House Press Poetry Prize, 2014, and Bonfire Opera (Pitt Poetry Series, 2020), finalist for the Paterson Poetry Prize and winner of the 2021 Northern California Book Award. She is on the faculty of Pacific University’s Low-Residency MFA program and lives in Santa Cruz, California. www.danushalameris.com