locked time

BY martin jee


All of my childhood lies inside a box.

Under my bed

with the nightmares and the dust.


The carved animals come

to life among the inlay

of mother-of-pearl.


It’s there they cannot touch me 

while I wonder

who has already left,


like Cousin Min-

we heard of her last 

during the reunion, an afterthought.


She is gone now.

All night she 

whispers from the crack in the box.


And sometimes it spills like the sea

with the same shade of blue grey 

and yet here we are still smiling -


under the lamplight.

Somehow we found time

for expressions.


Yellow conquers all.

The images blur and disappear

as my box is stored away.

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