Pandora, September

Red letters hang from the side of the truck like leaves.

Moving day and Pandora’s driving the truck–
one hand on the wheel,
arm hanging out the window.

This bitter heat is not mine, she thinks.

Pandora moves out of fiction,

“What do I have left to give?”
I want to allow you to think.
“What do I have left to give?”

Missing control, Pandora
rests sunglasses, turns dials.

Pandora, breathe.

Pandora isn’t home yet.

The idea of the porcelain figure:
Pandora lays in the marble on shadows,
under the temple, undiscovered.

Hope still waiting in the tomb.
Hope expectantly.

Pandora in covers, a dance,
moving feet before feet.

“Speak,” she says.

Pandora moving through:
hand over hip,
hand over mouth-
Fingers braced together.

This is the veil,
a permanence.

Mouth will not be seen,
The mouth moves the lips expectantly.

Pandora reviews another.

Pandora, ignorant of faith.

Pandora willing to walk on water.

Pandora willing to bite the fruit.


Pandora is unclothed in the bathroom.
There is marble tile.
A mirror.

Her shadow glances back upon the bathtub.
Her image is secrecy.

Pandora examines skin,
unfolds arms from side.

There is another word for this, she thinks.

Pandora is awakened by a knock on the door.
The wind she thinks,
wind she thinks.

Wind to carry away Hope.

Hope clings to Pandora’s breast.
Pandora turns expectantly.

Pandora is alone,
this room is lined with squares, triangles.
“To bisect an angle…” she says.

Pandora willing to write things down:
There are shapes for faith.
Clouds can consume the sky.


Pandora looks over river,
A bird is standing in shallow water.

“A dream,” she whispers.

A branch is above her head.
Softly the water comes ashore
and softly the water takes away

Erosion takes away expectantly


Hope is in the corner,
quietly playing with building blocks.

Pandora’s belly is full,
she is able to notice
dimples on her stomach

Pandora is on white sheets.
In this room, the skin

is electric in anticipation.

This is what they call an abortion,
she whispers.

abortion abortion abortion
abortion abortion


Pandora closes eyes,
and waits expectantly.

Originally appeared in the  Young American Poets Blog:


Pandora, December.


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?”

Pandora watches,
Hope delays.

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: