Boxes upon boxes of paper.
Artifacts of attempts to wrap myself
and blanket myself in the security.
of having proof
of everything that went wrong.
Box after box shoved under my bed
stacked in my closet,
in the corners of every room
stacked up under windows
and in front of windows
blocking the light
of life beyond the shades.
Box after box I don’t open
because ghosts might spill out
long dark tendrils
sliding across the floor to grab
my feet, my ankles
and climb my body to grasp my heart.
Boxes I carry from place to place
lugging them up and down stairs
slinging them into moving trucks
and nudging them under furniture
trying to find space for the
increasing weight of the life I can’t let go.
Curious, sometimes, about what curios
are contained on pages
filling boxes and filing cabinets.
Curiosity killed the cat, is how the cliche goes
but I still find myself opening the boxes
and sorting through papers.
Every scrap of paper saved
because I might need it
to cover or shield or maintain
small masochistic urge satisfied
as I reread each letter
love notes from exes
poems written for and by old boyfriends
and breakup letters
and they all go in the shredder
turning blankets of papers into
piles of confetti
I can scatter to the wind
out the windows no longer
blocked by box after box of hurt.
Notes passed with friends during math class
when we should’ve been trying to make
sense of algebra formulas.
Lecture notes from every class
for my 13 years of college.
Margin comments from professors
drafts of papers and printouts of articles
all go in the trash
no longer weighing me down with
the girl I used to be.