Time is made for us; we're not made for time. Does it bother you not to wear a watch? a student asks. To be on watch is not to watch over, if over is love's preposition. To every watch its own take on time; no exactitude in the exact. The president wants new photos to prove what he alone knows and someone humors him with a photo dated a day late. It feels like we've gone back a hundred years, another student says, but we weren't alive to comparison shop our status. We can no longer tell what depression is organic, and which is imposed upon us. Nor do I feel the old energy of my anger, only the lassitude of a tired animal. “I am ________ and I was turned away from the United States; I died at Auschwitz. This is a black and white photo of me as a child in a dress or a pair of shorts, next to friends or alone with the camera. I am your witness now.” Try to end your poem with the moment that precipitated it. I saw my former student with his arm around a girl, smiling. That semester he'd failed in his attempt.
--27 January 2017
[first sentence from The Cloud of Unknowing]