The edges were closing in on me,
Cardboard walls around my head.
Shades of brown were all I could see,
Fit in a coffin like I was dead.
Too young to live but too rare to die,
Through the dark my vision blurred.
Fish swam across my mind’s eye,
Scales painting the walls of my world.
Lungs gulping fragments of light,
Faint glimmers sunk down my throat.
Dripping down in the murky night,
From my box I built a cardboard boat.
The tides beat against my weary ship,
Each wave tore it a little more.
The pushes and pulls made it tip,
And I washed up on a barren shore.
The lions came to drink from my veins,
Each sweet sip cut deeper down.
I become a thin corpse fully drained,
Into the river I was thrown to drown.
Floating in the milky depths, I drank,
Filling up with unearthly juice.
My body became heavy and I sank,
At the bottom I had to choose.
The burning light awaited up above,
There was pain there but beauty too.
Here below lay my simple love,
The cool solitude I once knew.
I craved the safety of my box again,
For the serene loneliness to return.
But my bones commanded I ascend
Back to the light despite the burn.
I kicked until my lungs were aching,
My legs twisting into scales and fins.
My body on the verge of breaking,
I became a fish and learned to swim.
I dragged myself up from the water,
Returned to life there on the sand.
The stars above called me daughter,
Let their pale light skim my hand.
I found my strength and walked along
Through the forest to the lions’ den.
In the trees, dark birds sang a song
Telling me I should know better then.
I marched on and spied the cave,
The lions lay deep in sleep within.
I entered with no weapon but my rage
And left behind a dozen skinned.
I dream tonight wrapped in their furs,
Echoes of my boxed in days appear.
They are no more than distant blurs
Now that I am liberated from my fear.