There are up days and down days
and then there are days of up and down
where you do not know which is which.
Where both are true of you at once.
You keep those days in a sealed
and resealed box you’ve labeled
NOW AND THEN in block letters
with a black permanent marker.
It’s under the bed
where you can reach it quickly if need be
in the middle of a rocked night or
catatonic afternoon or terror morning.
You tear it open and tape it back up
after each addition and it never seemed to get
full. That was then. This is now
and you can’t even move it out
from under the bed anymore,
not because it’s heavy —
it’s not heavy,
you practically have to tie it down to keep it
from floating out into the middle of the room
during a party or while you are making love
or washing the dishes —
but because NOW AND THEN
has stopped answering to that.
It’s all grown up now, well-fed,
a bruiser in your room,
and it wants to take your name.