box of jars

Only You poems

heidi shira tannenbaum
Only You kept a cash box 
in an unlocked drawer.
She dreamt over and over 
of what it was filled with;
there was always a twist at the end.

The detective was familiar fiction
but he was all she had. She asked him
if she could be alone for a while,
clear her head of sand dunes. 
Whose voice was it?

As soon as he left 
she called him back. One night 
he solved the case. Centipedes,
neon as a trapped memory. 
Just as she opened the box 
she woke up. The heat 
would've killed them by now
and she couldn't bear
to look at their tiny deflated corpses.

Another night the detective 
was the Gramophone Man. 
He hovered at the edge of her intention, 
mapping out contents:  a lost flask 
a glimpse of a skink
the worn spot of the carpet
the pit at the center of her joy. 

He needed a laser beam to melt the secret.
He needed a manual on how to
maintain their delicate relations.
She needed something much less delicate.
There might be––
Enough, enough said the voice. It wasn't
the Gramophone Man. It wasn't
his rival detective. It was nearly music, or
a cessation of a liquid weight.