Saftey Box


In the grey and confined safety box hidden in the downstairs office

Lives my other father.

Tucked away under passports

That only have one stamp,

And wills that need to be changed,

As my possible replacements have all died four years ago,

The annulment of a naive suburban eighteen-year-old girl remains.

Meticulously moved to cover her past

I’ll never know

I read: Donna M. _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ .

The name and life of my Mom legally erased,

But desperately imagined by my fingertips that trace

Her foreign last name.

I perfectly place papers back into the specific space

In our history they hold,

Re-bending and re-building the facade.

I am apprehensive of shattering the microscope

I view my Mom through.

With this tepid abandoned paper

Now dripping with my uncomfortable sweat,

As it disrupts 

My lack of secrets that need to be locked away.

Thick mahogany bookshelves, filled with familial photographs

Of great-grandfathers I’ve never met

And books of the Bible spread like a preacher

Changed the trajectory of their life to interior designs of

Overflowed and magical offices,

Line the white wooden-paneled walls.

As I step into the fluorescent-lit cream colored hallway,

With white walls covered in antique gold-plated religious artwork

Bright enough to distract an immature child from finding

The safety box hidden on the highest shelf of a closet filled with old, Cuban cigars,

I ask my Mom anyway.

My dry armpits, feet, and palms want a lie but,

I know a first love cannot be forged.

No air to choke around

Because my Mom has already claimed it to be hers,

She procrastinates her reasoning

Saying ‘not now.’

I don’t dare speak, but I question the reality of my Mom knowing me

Since I came into this world, bloodied, beaten, and swollen

While I have yet to learn the secrets she whispered in smallest hours

At summer camp, or what the hair color was of the first person she loved,

Or even what she sounds like when she sings.


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