all that I witness is outside the box
but within, oh that thrice-damned cat
that hapless creature suffering or dead

how I wish to enter, discover its state of affairs
but one can only be one or other
when my boys first pawed their way in

inevitable by their unsanctioned investigations
but when did they imagine filler of corrugated paper
and glue into lead, sealing off my world from part of theirs

they leave, don’t they, they enter world –
their reports come back garbled, monosyllabic
cosmic interference distorts the message I assume

I’m left here to puzzle out their meaning
each day they fall back through
the box’s invisible seams, depart my home

landing, I reason, on all fours
would but a murmur, a scratch emanate
from that cold and stolid fixture

I cannot know what nefarious actors
plot them obstacle and harm
what natural effects might rip at or drown them

at what others must they themselves claw
or shriek, fleeing down some unused alley
or, I would admit if pressed, what kindness

might befall them, what growth and science
might work upon them


Corbett Buchly poetry has appeared in SLAB, Rio Grande Review, Plainsongs, Barrow Street, and The RavensPerch. Corbett is an alumnus of Texas Christian University and the professional writing program at the University of Southern California.