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.