Black Box

It’s nothing personal—
her terror.
She doesn’t need
a weatherman
to know which
streets to walk
when civil twilight
leads to civil unrest.

She’ll never hold
a loaded gun
again. In the summer of 1984,
she cut her finger
on a squirt gun
during a drunken weekend
reunion in Brooklyn with someone
she should never have reunited with.

She feels constrained
by the box she lives in,
its four top flaps
just beyond reach.
She wants to take
a train to a plane
to an island
she doesn’t recognize.

She wants to believe
in something
greater than this
cardboard vista.
Wishes she could make
a diorama from a milk crate
someone stole from PS 7 in the Bronx
just for personal use.

Draped and placed
on a stool,
it would tell a new story
from an old fear.
A tiny bent light beam
would seep in
through a tear in the canvas
sky. Outside it might rain.

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