They slide by a boy outside

the large cardboard box

on the basement floor

where he hides

rolled into himself

away from voices

he pretends not to hear,


and sit outside the attic closet

where he crouches

behind mothballed clothing,

empty picture frames,

vases of dried plants

stored from a time

he cannot quite recall,


and hover over

his driven hair

as man he descends

the midnight staircase

to wander aimlessly

through silent rooms

more vacant than fear


— those unspeakable words

remembered only as runes

on the walls of caverns

he traveled in utero,

and the screams as he burst

into the light



They’re about the mother