Life is just this:
The first box is well-wrapped.
It is all lace and ribbon.
A work of art,
The medium equal parts scotch tape and imagination.
You look at the thing.
It is half as large as you, this great box.
So carefully wrapped.
You are almost ashamed to rend the sharp corners that have been battened down.
But with just a moments hesitation
You tear into it,
With equal parts delight and reget and you open the box.
There is only a thin layer or packing peanuts. In them rests another box, just this much smaller.
This box has been wrapped with the sort of green wrapping paper easily found during the holidays.
You pull it out and wonder. You rip without hesitation. Discrard the red ribbon added, perhaps as an afterthought.
Only two boxes in,
You intuit what is next.
It is a little larger than a shoebox.
Wrapped as it is in newspaper.
You chuckle the disapointment away.
Life is just like this.
It is not what it seemed to be at the beginning.
This is what life is.
Knee deep in wrapping paper and fading glory.
Reduced to wondering on the troika:
How many boxes within boxes within boxes?
A shoebox, next of course,
Wrapped in a murdered brownpaper bag, repurposed.
They, of course, are all laughing.
The ones who pretended to bring in this great kind gift.
Yours is a sad plastered on mockery of their glee
What else can you do, but open,
Like a little coffin.
It is stuffed with bubble wrap.
You pop it once and twice between my thumb and index finger.
Pop! like a baby backfire
Pop! Like a neutered murdered weapon.
There is the littlest box. Nestled in the bubble wrap.
It must be the littlest box.
It held earings, once, perhaps.
From a now-defunct department store.
It is not even wrapped.
This is life.
You open the littlest box.
It is empty.
It is like the monolith.
Can see eternity