The box

The box

Its dimensions are delicious:
All three of them equally so.
Its composition is comparable
In purity to snow.

Although it isn’t uncomplicated;
It has a history
Of sorts. But details remain blurred:
Dates fast became a mystery

As wave upon wave of technology
Disappointingly lapped
Against its sturdy sides; and yet
Every time its flaps are unwrapped

Something stays locked inside.
I picked it up at a charity shop
In a cathedral city – I forget
Which one. I have to stop

Myself from speculating where
In the world it originates
From – that’s not the point of it;
That just isn’t how the box relates

To all that’s within and without.
One night my cat got stuck in it.
At least, I think it did;
I thought it had, so I waited a bit

Before lifting the lid to see
If I was going mad. And now
I’m not entirely sure I ever
Had a cat. But that’s just how

It works: sometimes it’s a cuboid;
Sometimes it’s a cube. Other times
It seems that no two sides are equal lengths.
It falls, sometimes; it climbs

As well. Once or twice it’s reverted
To its plan. It ate a day
Last October, and threw it up,
Unprovoked, the following May.

I told it then to quit that stuff
Or I’d empty it out for good.
“You can’t see the fin for the infinite,”
It said. But then, it would.

I wear the box as a hat sometimes
When no one else is around,
And smell its many soft smells
And listen to its many faint sounds,

But it hurts my head when I take it off:
Thinking becomes a chore.
I don’t know then what to do with myself,
Or what I did before.

I told it once to pack its things and go:
I asked it what it brings.
“Don’t judge a frame by its painting,” it said.
It says a lot of things.

“Your dimensions are delicious:
All three of them equally so,”
I told it by way of a double-bluff.
The box just said: “I know.”

Appears in:
Mistaken for art or rubbish [2013]


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