“A Matter of Time” by Annie Kantar

Annie Kantar



Say one scalding summer,
you had 100 minutes

alone of electricity each day:

how would you use them?

Maybe you’d have
dinner by the LED,

or bring them to the sea,

shine figure 8s on the foam.
But what if the water


Bored at home,
would you let them go?

They’re about to come on.

Would you waste

what you’ve got for talk
of failing sewage pumps?

If you fall

will they
be yours?

Would you play them

from your phone?
Draw them in the sand?

If a line, where and when?
The drones care.

Say the sea
takes them—

would that matter?

And if someone calls?
Will you answer?

from Rattle #59, Spring 2018
Tribute to Immigrant Poets

[download audio]


Annie Kantar: “This past summer, Gaza was cut off from all but 1-2 hours of electricity a day. As of publication, Gazans are allocated only 3-4 hours a day. This poem was born of a desire to articulate, in some small measure, the madness in that normalcy.”

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