My basement is a treasure cove

of two dollar bills and VCR tapes,

plastic shelves and comic books,

chipped paint from briefcases 

that carried, once, important things—


(They were press releases

or media prints

or my old sketches

or letters in my grandfather’s hand.)


My basements stores its history 

between knick knacks—

there, next to the bowling ball

and broken camera, 

my father’s memories curl,

huddled beside themselves,

backs curved and aching,

reminiscing of the cardboard boxes

they didn’t find themselves inside. 


My basement hoards generations

under lifted wall tiles, 

their years, unidentified anecdotes 

of a faceless nanny, 

a mink coat,

a grandmother’s voicemail.

They have burgeoned and hardened

where the plaster was, 

between these boards. 

We see it now, under the scraped paint.


I sit, sometimes, in my basement

and listen to the hum of the boxes,

the vibrations of a paternal childhood. 

I try to make out the sounds.

Footsteps from upstairs

rattle the ceiling, a distant alarm. 

The palpitations of the morning, 

calling me to action.