Subjunctive Mood

Suzannah Showler

Thoughts: I’ve been experimenting
with those. Have you heard the one

about the beetle in the box? Kitty
in a box? Thinking never met a box

it didn’t want to put a little life
inside. Metal inspired to resist

the elements, or takeout container
closing, cardboard getting real

cozy with more cardboard. See
how recycling can be open and shut.

Reconstitution’s in vogue, all
that’s solid is old, what we keep

in mind comes back to us. For real,
like, five percent of what we think

is new. The rest is on repeat, each
ribbon slow-writhing like an eel

through a viewfinder, begging to be
clicked and tagged. Have I had

this one before? The new is hard
and brief, like the dumb sparkle

stuck below that woman’s eye
while she cries on TV, reaching

for you all the time, the only thing
you see until you don’t. Then onto

the next. I want to know where to look
for myself: coming or coming back? 

Ok, wait, I’ve got a good one:
house with infinite rooms, whole

life boxed in each one, no doors,
sound proofing only so-so. Say

you’re there, too. You never
know the whole, but you do hear

things, words slipping through,
tracing sounds you think you might

have known before As though being
is only being reminded. That’s all 

I’ve got so far. It pretty much
just goes on that way for a while.