Forty-two seconds and fifteen minutes before the beginning I'm running for the door. It's locked, the key setting on the sill. I didn't notice, I hadn't realized.
Seventy-eight hours with the forty-two seconds gone, I gaze into the mirror. It's empty. The chill wind of the north races through my soul. I look about.
One hundred and forty-nine days with thousands to follow, I walk to the wall. Round it is, not square like the others. Funny I think. I fall to the floor and mold myself to the rounded baseboard. Content in my being, I rest.
I awake in the midst of a lilac bush with the scent lingering throughout the air. "Ah!" I say. To the side of me I see The One, standing. The one my dreams have been haunted with. There, bright as ever, keener than the wit should allow.
Now is the time, the moment of truth, the extinguishing of the fire.
I stride closer, till our breaths are the same, our thoughts one. I gather my guts, bend my head, and kiss.
Forty-two seconds and fifteen minutes before the beginning, I am running for the door.
Mary Maurice wrote her first poem when she was in the ninth grade, and hasn't stopped writing since. Catching the fire at an early age, she continues to dedicate her time to the craft.