In a box
I made I keep
the work of 
my whole life: how
to be this divided
self, how to speak of it,
how to stay alive
this way. I keep
my races and my bad
brain in there and
the sticky moods and
how I don’t want to look
at any of it very often.

In my self-made box
I keep stars and 
scars and every ink-bitten
mistake and triumph and
triumph over a mistake.
Sometimes I have to
crush down what I put in 
before but it’s all in there,
I promise. Well, 

someone kicked it
and a side split. Someone
kicked my self-box and
now it’s not holding

and when I come
out of it, when I spill
out of that opened
corner, what may come

might be the new stuff
up top or maybe the 
very oldest, that which has been
crushed down and down and
compacted for long years

and some of those triumphs
look now like mistakes
or are so pressed into
one another that 
they might ignite when exposed
to the new light and
I can’t tell you what
is going to happen, 

other than that 
what’s spilling out
is possibly ugly and 
if it burns it may burn
toxic and if the box
goes too we’ll both
see me for real
in the open at last.

Inside my self-box
late at night, early
in the morning, I stare
into the world through
the now-fractured corner
and it looks like
a slot canyon, a space
between walls or bars.
It looks straight
and narrow. 
it’s better in here
than out there.

About Tony Brown

A poet with a history in slam, lots of publications; my personal poetry and a little bit of daily life and opinions. Read the page called "About..." for the details. View all posts by Tony Brown

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