Self-Storage
I
I lift another old box
from the locker
tape crackling to splinters
arrow pointing this side up

I open the flap
to a jumble of letters
stamped with likenesses
of Luther and Erasmus

letters I wrote
my first wife
when, for the sake of our
careers, we lived on
separate continents

II
I read the lies I wrote then
my “loneliness,” my “need for you”

all the partial truths
I filled the pages with

and I remember the nights
I danced with others

pressing my hand
on the curve at the waist

where the bell that is woman
opens to sound

and echo —
my deepest hunger then

this secret sharing
skin of mouth, skin of breast

long unbroken skin of back and leg
wholeness of the body

my secret joy

III
I trudge downstairs
Sisyphus in reverse

waddle outside
to the dumpster

heave the box onto the lip
of the heavy metal bin

lift the lid, fragrance
of orange peel and coffee grounds

rotting lettuce, leaves, crankcase oil
tip my past into this
lovely marinade

give my sins
to the earth