I Have a Box by Joe Kapitan

April 9, 2012 Comments Off on I Have a Box by Joe Kapitan

I have a box.

I have a box that smells like surrender. My box that smells like surrender tries to shield me from the worst mornings of the world. I have a box that goes limp with humidity and years, and its corners weep when we’re stuck with each other on rainy days.

I have many friends without boxes. Boxes to them are coffins, to be filled with lead ingots, filled with rusted years. They say the rain on their heads does not bother them. Their foreheads burn in summer. They live in transit between moments because it is all they know. They know nothing of saving. They have nothing to gather their moments in anyway. No box.

My box can hold memories because it holds nothing else, nothing small and precious, the only thing it ever wanted. Here is a memory: I woke one morning and saw a tiny egg in the corner of my box. I stared in wonder. I covered it with dry leaves that the winter wind left me. My box was happy. I tried to be. I considered the egg. Eggshells are walls for things that want no part of being walled. I thought about a thing that would not want to be contained, and what it would think of my box, and what it would want from me. Things from eggs are things that grow and things that want. I left my box, and let the rain strike me for a while. When I returned, the egg was gone, and my box’s corners wet.

Here is another memory: many people gathered, and a preacher is giving us our motto, the one we recite on silent Sundays, the one about times of better and worse, and it comforts me, reminds me that if the better ever comes, I have someone else to witness it, and the worse, when it happens, is of little concern because, for now, I am not alone. I have you. I tell you this, and I say I’m sorry about the egg, and I watch your corners weep.

© 2012 Joe Kapitan

Joe Kapitan wanders northern Ohio. He works often, writes sometimes, is published occasionally in places like elimae, Smokelong Quarterly, PANK, Emprise Review and Annalemma.

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