Keith Leonard

Home » Issue 89 » Keith Leonard

Keith Leonard

Leap Second

            On Thursday, the world will experience a mutant minute, one with 61 seconds.
            –The Washington Post
The atomic clock
at the Directorate of Time
is off by one second.
The accountants of time,
bespectacled and reverent,
will pause the world momentarily.
Two accountants of time,
long suffering for love,
will ceremoniously kiss.
Another plans to speak
the name of God.
The quietest accountant of time
will fiddle with a plastic shirt button
that will outlast him by a thousand years.
The rotation of the planet
has slowed a second per year
since 1973, but this is not
of concern to the accountants
who know of such things
and have hung silver streamers
from the ceiling tiles.

Keith Leonard reads “Leap Second”

Keith Leonard is the author of the poetry collection Ramshackle Ode (Mainer/HarperCollins). His poems have appeared recently or are forthcoming in The Believer, New England Review, Ploughshares, and elsewhere. Keith has received fellowships from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, the Sustainable Arts Foundation, and the Ohio Arts Council. He lives in Columbus, Ohio.