Size / / /

"Each member shall be entitled to cast three seconds in each category." — Scott Green

No one is alive who recalls the great floods,

more time than we knew what to do with

as it soaked into floorboards,

moldered atomic spins,

precipitated geology's slow rot.

Time warped, in those days

when we took days for granted.

When calendars meant something.

We knew that the universe

stretched and compacted

like saltwater taffy.

That gravity wells

fell only so deep

before drying up.

Momentary shortages lengthened into shortages of


The more time we needed to prepare ourselves,

the faster it drained.

I hold three seconds

in my hand

and must choose where,

in these dry sands,

to fling them.

Where to grant one breath,

three heartbeats,

a pittance of words.

And then move on.


for rain.

Elissa Malcohn lives in central Florida, where she photographs bugs and sings extemporaneously at open mics. She is a four-time Rhysling Award nominee, former Star*Line editor, and was a 1985 John W. Campbell Award finalist. Her novel Deviations: Covenant was released in 2007. See her website for more information. Elissa can be reached by email at:

Elissa Malcohn
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