Sunday, February 12, 2012

these boxes (an antiquarian's Valentine’s Day card)

these boxes (an antiquarian's Valentine’s Day card)

"So it's all over with Julie. Over before it began. And instead of sharing a future with someone, I am back again with the past, with Desdemona who wanted no future at all ... Everything about Middlesex spoke of forgetting and everything about Desdemona made plain the inescapability of remembering."—Middlesex, Jeffrey Eugenides

my chest remains anchored to you and these boxes
you asked me not to collect

last night this box of names and initials
lit my sky like fireworks or meteors

so in my dreaming i added this 4th of July
and then put it back on the shelves i manage

beside the others that sit there inside me
patient as wax paper or powder-sugared lips:

Box A
everything i never said or did”
(like a wall of stones or capsized boat)

and Box C
all the things that led to this”
(like bread crumbs erased by bluebirds)

and here is Box P
the henna tattoo i never drew across the curve of your back”
(like pheromones or honey)

or Box Z
every moment we were within arm’s length”
(like a dyad sweetly on fingertips)

and Box III
a broken shoelace”
(like the hiss in trace or bee’s buzzing)

and even Box DDDD
the heaviest box of all”*

all your clothes and shoes i’ll never see
and the dreams you’ll never retell to me
and your palm never again warm against mine
as we walk along a street we’ll never share again
(like dynamite in a honeysuckle vine)

* although this is poetic hyperbole:

the stuff of Valentine's Day cards or
something like a lie or coping strategy
for Tourette syndrome or craving chocolate-covered raisins
hidden behind these boxes and shelves masking
the meticulous cataloging of an antiquarian

who dares not dwell on
songs that make me cry&smile
holidays we’ve never shared”
books i want to read lying near you” and
my growing problem with verbs and apostrophes”


the box i cannot move is labeled
i love you”
(like red letters on a tiny pink candy heart
hummingbirds in the thoughts of Adam Lonicer or

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