what was in the black box?

she carried with her a black box
a square void of anything she judged immoral
a cloying illness, a bizarre sickness
she would pass from person to person
sucking in souls like a perverse reverse Pandora.

I didn't know that, not
at first.

she made me hold it, first.
told me it was all I was made of
named me omega-spirited bitch,
branded me obsessed with her own self
while I was desperately trying to tie down the storms of my self
("darling, I wasn't thinking of you")
attempting to outwit or perhaps confuse Death itself
("you have to believe me")
to capture Love and hold it to my breast in desperation
("I wasn't thinking of you at all")
to gentle a world in the process of going quietly, viciously mad.

she tried to stab at my throat with the vortices of her box,
as I tried to slash at the ribbons of being that held my soul within my skin
tired beyond feeling, blood so numb it ran like ice
prickling like a thousand needles
or swords of hate.

I suppose I believed her.
the scars stare at me; proof.

I never thought she could pack up that box
a cube of nixing and deflecting
scratch my name off the side of it
and pass it on, force someone else to hold it

I didn't realise, not until later --
that black square had nothing to do with me
and everything to do with her --
that box was just hers.

the foundations of my world rocked
as I watched her break the fingers of someone else
and force them around her damned box,
wallpapered over with spite and delusion
a new name carved on its ebon lid.

I watch, silently.
I am rendered mute by circumstance;
Fate has always been a jackass, a cat cackling merrily.
but if I could, I would tell the new soul forced to bear that box
that it isn't theirs, never was, never could be,
and that no matter darkness they are forced to stare into
they have the strength to remain unblinking;
they have the power to spangle its depths with technicolour stars.

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