She buys time on the corner
barters with the vagrants who have so much of it
offers money for a meal or a drink
in exchange for another day.

She corrupts children with offers
of aged wisdom and cigarettes
a fast ride to the beach
for as many days as there are grains of sand
under the fingernail of a beachcomber.

She follows dogs and cats
one years is worth seven
and one life for nine more
but the animals suspect she is not sincere
and they flee her greedy arms.

But prisoners have the most precious time off all
time that bleeds and oozes and cannot be contained
she pleads for it
and they beg her to take it
each longing for what the other has wasted.



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