“The Trunk”

“The Trunk”
(c) 2021 by Michael L. Utley

There is a place for things
That don’t belong in
Other places
That sere and weathered
Trunk that hunkers lupine-like
Amid dust-addled attic shadows
Wood split and gouged
With time and neglect
Iron bands and fittings
A crumble of rust
Lockless clasp broken
From endless breeches
And pryings
I should have
Replaced that lock
Eons ago
The ill-fitting lid
Is too loose
More decoration
Than function
And tends to rattle
Of its own accord
Much too frequently
For what’s inside wants to
Breathe
Stretch
Pop knuckles
Champ teeth
And feed
And only I can
Contain it

I am the guardian
Of my thoughts
The gatekeeper
Of my soul
The sentinel
Who slumbers
Far too often
And I have the scars
To prove it
Pandora knew nothing
Of depression
Of the sticky ichor
That coats minds
Chokes souls
Rends hearts
Ends with
Restless bones
In paupers’ graves

There is no light
In this trunk
Rather
It devours light and life
Siphons energy
Drains minds of clarity
Its bitter harvest
A wretched bounty
Of lies and darkness

I have discarded
This trunk hundreds of times
Thousands of times
Banished it to
The furthest reaches
Of the void
And when I turn around
It’s still there
Lurking stealthily in
Tenebrous attic shadows
Slavering
Grinning
A dead-blue
Feral glow
About it that
Bespeaks of
Baleful knowledge
Best kept under
Lock and key

Mere vigilance is futile
Hyper-vigilance exhausting
This night never-ending
The callous sun
Cannot penetrate
The claptrap slats
Of my mind
I must stand
On my own
In this blackness
And fight to keep
This trunk shut
To render impotent
Its contents
To save myself
Or die trying

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