The box with L O V E on top

You’ve been inside the box with L O V E
on the top for a month now
because the ground has been too frozen
to bury you properly
and I could not bear to have you turned
to ash and scattered by a stranger
in a field I’ve never seen and will
never visit
for the first week I knew you were gone
but I could lie to myself and peek inside
the box and pretend you were sleeping
I would touch your head,
apologizing for not being better, for
not having deserved you.
Then I left the box in peace awaiting
a sun warm enough to lay you to
Yesterday I could not help myself. I
wanted to see you, to perform the ritual
of apology and contrition
and when I lifted the lid of the box
with love on it you were there – but
before my hand could touch your
forehead it stopped – some part of my
brain reacting on instinct built into DNA –
seeing what my conscious mind could not
You no longer have eyes.
they are black holes – windows to an
interior that turned my stomach
asking me what I thought happens
to dead, unburied things
but today there is snow and the ground
is cold and I cannot bear to let
a stranger scatter you across a field
I do not know so
I will wait until the sun makes time and
space to bury you.

About the Author

Don Martin is the author of two collections of poetry. His previous work, The Playground, was selected by Barnes & Noble as part of their #BFestBuzz campaign. His latest collection, while I wait to be a god again, came out earlier this year and debuted at #1 on Amazon’s LGBT Poetry list. He lives in the suburbs of Chicago with his husband and their pets. To find him on social media click below.