Pandora’s outside smoking a cigarette.
Hope will be a moment.
“My hands are cold, Pandora,
What will you give me in return?”
I will write each sentence with a different pen.
“What will I receive in return?
Is this you or your brother”
Epimetheus opened the box,
I will do what my brother has not.
Scilicet ut speres nil nisi quad liceat.
“Hope should not be directed toward
that which is forbidden.”
Begin by speaking.
“Here is the elemental–
The fire,” Pandora says.
We were created from fire
Here is an anchor,
you may feel its weight upon you.
Here are the curves to shape,
“Each line has a point.”
This is how I will graph the elemental
I will take your X.
(Here– a beginning.)
I will remove my Y.
(Here– an ending.)
“Pandora, where are the numbers?
What is the count of feeling?”
This is the first step, Pandora says.
Hope cannot fail, she says.
Pandora on the couch,
chasing shadows on the wall.
Hope is still in delay, standing.
The image has not washed out.
-only it’s been delayed.
-only the shape is.
-only an X and a Y.
To forgive is to take away.
To forgive is to steal.
To forgive is to remove the lid
but do not cast it aside, Pandora
Hope is what you were given.
This poem originally appeared on the Young American Poets website: