Cardboard Poem Written on a Warehouse Wall

Tony Robles

It was a big cardboard box that had been

put together by cardboard hands and my hands

were the same color as the cardboard and my

hands were about to break it apart 

and the box sat alongside

other boxes like itself 

waiting on warehouse shelves

I was told to take the box

from the shelf and assemble

what was inside

An assembly of curiosity

and wonder that became the

parts to a recliner

It reminded me of my

grandfather’s recliner whose cushions

collected old racing forms, bus transfers,

cookie crumbs as well as rips and tears   

As I opened the cardboard box and

pulled the recliner out like an oversized

wisdom tooth, the cardboard spoke

Why not get into this box? it said, there’s

enough room for you to get away, to hide

I thought about it as I held a

box cutter in my hands  

I thought about the farm workers

who cut pieces of sunlight, I thought about

the guy cutting slabs of tuna a world away

in a fish market in Japan

I thought about my mother

cutting into a birthday cake

I thought about some invisible director

yelling: cut!  and all that film

destined for the cutting room floor

I cut the box

into a thousand little poems,

a thousand little dreams that

a box cannot hold

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