In silence I place your memories—
Tiny paintings of melody
It makes me calm.
I cut away the pieces of loss you carry,
hide them in a weathered music box
that becomes lost in a mess of paperwork and dishes,
in the distraction of late night stereo and sharing keys.
Clumsily we shuffle through winter;
Our hearts lie dormant as spring’s first blooms.
Flashy robins, their red breasts bright in the morning sun
bring us from hibernation.
The season’s first sunburn follows as tulips droop toward the ground,
their fragile necks bending slowly as the days grow longer.
We pretend the yellowing walls and arching sun
don’t contain us to memory, bind us to routine.
Yet our creeping sadness follows the span of sunlight
passing across rooftops as sunburns fade.
Heartbreak impends like the march of a million ants
trying to find their way indoors.
Amongst unpacked moving boxes,
I hear a tiny twang of that forgotten music box.
Its covering is shabby, soiled with fingerprints of youth.
I once as a child filled it with treasure
and buried it to later discover the contents remained unchanged;
Only the meaning had been lost in routine.
Our hearts, like music boxes, are opened so rarely
As if the melody would sour, as if heartache would spread like an infection
Become a gaping wound, ripped open by a peckish lover
who begins to lap at the tissue, chew on ventricles until
slowly we become a cavity void of the songs that made us love
In the first breaths of morning, when the songbirds are the loudest
I hear those pieces of loss I cut away
scratching on the music box’s insides
Clamoring to be let out.