A single forklift stows a crate
in a stack down one of many aisles
of a warehouse which seems, as the camera
pans back, the size of Wyoming.
And if I say my lost letters are there
am I thinking of the maze of my brain
down whose corridors have blown
each word I fumbled toward
a dozen loves I failed and keep failing?
Or do I mean one banded stack
signed by the woman I would marry,
lumped in a crumpled box in the back
of storage unit #631 behind a corrugated door?
The crate in the scene, we know, contains
the ark of the covenant. The nazis want it,
but we’ve seen their vanguard lift the lid
to reveal the glow inside. We’ve seen that glow
burn through the chests of a hundred men
who dared to look, leaving not one charred
knucklebone behind. We understand
we can be unmade by daring too close
to what made us. I’m glad I married.
Our years contained happinesses.
But I wasn’t sure I wanted to. I swallowed
doubts, and my muscles grew to express them
through motor skills large and fine. They left me
hungry. Sometimes I fear
I am only doubt and that is why radiance
and raptors pass through with little resistance
but wind. What would it mean to read
such letters, to unbox the moment
I became what I am? To what end
would they burn me?