Inspired by the Totally Optional Prompt for "A Letter."
Shedding the excess weight of the past
I'm emptying all the high school boxes
and find letters from a Mormon ex-boyfriend
who wrote while on his mission in California.
I wonder what to do with all of them -
to toss them in the trash, or keep them safe?
Remembering when he made me feel safe
from the trauma of a present now the past.
The high school friends - I have abandoned them
now I'm bleeding memories from boxes
dreaming of a trip to California
with a man who will become an ex-boyfriend.
I only care to remember one ex-boyfriend
I make arrangements to keep each letter safe.
Now he does not live in California
now I have stopped living in the past
the present is being placed in empty boxes
hope the new place has room for them.
The new friends - what will become of them?
How many more men will be an ex-boyfriend?
How often will I pack and empty boxes?
When will I want to settle and be safe?
Why am I so willing to drop the past?
What is there for us in California?
Maybe we won't go to California
maybe I will give up all of them
and make this present a new recent past
maybe he will be my last ex-boyfriend
only on my own can I be safe
keeping history stored away in boxes.
Soon I'll be unpacking all these boxes
still dreaming of a trip to California
not any closer to keeping myself safe.
Grateful for my friends - I hope to keep them
I'll enjoy us before he becomes an ex-boyfriend
I'll give more attention to the past.
I'll teach myself to feel safe with them
California will signify another ex-boyfriend
though in boxes, I will not forget the past.