Analemma

— Casey FitzSimons

He’d brought six watches from Zurich
he told me and bought three more
since we’d met here in San Francisco.

Our last day we lay
on the foggy beach at Montara.
I gave him the watch with a sundial face,
tiny plastic gnomon like the fin
of an inch-long shark.

Turning his wrist
in pretended search for sun and shadow
he laughed at the irony of a sundial in fog.
We imagined ourselves, soon to be
130 degrees of longitude apart.

He could subtract nine hours
easily enough when he thought of me
he said, but I knew
10 degrees of latitude would keep us
a tragic few minutes apart
even when the sun was shining.


Analemma: a plot of the position of the sun in the sky at a certain time of day (as noon) at one locale measured throughout the year; it has the shape of a figure 8. Or, a scale on a globe or sundial based on such a plot that allows local mean time to be determined.

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