It could be a thousand years ago. Maybe not. When the bell?
When the Roman Empire fell, the church used a bellThe mass bell at SS Simon & Jude cleanses the air of noise, driving city groan all the way to the horizon, each peal a stroke of the wet sponge down the slate blackboard, blackening it, its momentary purity pierced & puckered only by the come-and-get-it perorations of cardinal, bossy finch, lovesick chickadee — "O sweetie!"
for a hell of devious scheme:
To summon their flock, they invented the clock
they made time with their new machine...
After two dozen iterations, the door in the sky closes, erasing itself.... Crows crowd west, yelling, cars cram the sensorium with their belligerent being.
Left behind, I busy myself with shoveling empty time from here to there, until the next bell.