“Circles in a Circle,” oil on canvas, by Wassily Kandinsky, 1923.

by Terry Trowbridge

The shortest unit of time in my life
was the space between undoing one shoelace

and about to undo the other.
In that moment, happening between scenes,
I was never distracted by any other thoughts
or action—I even paused mid-breath
to make the switch from shoe to shoe
in an indivisible purity of intention.
That is my Plank time,
by which I can stake between my feet
a gnomon of consciousness to measure
all metaphysics in the undoing of
knots upon knots upon the ground.

Terry Trowbridge’s poems have appeared in The New Quarterly, Carousel Magazine, subTerrain, paperplates, The Dalhousie Review, and elsewhere.