i used to live in boxes,
not just the ones from packing my life
away and expediting it, or where i would
store myself under old refrigerators,
making soft buzzing noises with my tongue
i kept things in them, wings plucked
from butterflies and soaked in the
sickly sweet scent of formaldehyde.
it was satisfying to separate myself
from all the spheres of influence
and drops in the bucket
of my mind.
the past was all accorded for,
the present mattered not. i could get by
on scratching windowpanes for golden flecks
of light. as long as i had the memories of
being too young to understand thoughts,
i was okay, and okay was a word i could say
without regret. it promised nothing.
so what chance did you stand, all silver
and sparkles, speaking backwards and boiling over
with steam? you pretended it was virtue you were
smoking, hand-rolled, on the slowly sinking porch.
i could taste it as hypocrisy, some softest contradiction.
and i wanted to seal you off, garnished in
a soft sort of word salad, and dressed with adjectives
like “lonely” or maybe just a little bored. my way
was too angular for your knees, softly curved as they were,
and supple on my chest. you compartmentalized
so sloppily into a stream-of-consciousness story.
so there is a box for you, sitting somewhere, and i confess
that i always wanted to sleep alone. a can of soda
can be champagne if i’m celebrating something. and so
i think i’ll spend my night sugary and sober, painting
the sky cardboard and faded, like a memory without
a frame to hold it in.