Back in the Box

Justin Thibodeau


“Once the game is over the King and the Pawn go back in the same box”

(Old Spanish Proverb)


And oh yes, what a game we do play, this living,

this riddle, 4 legs, 2, the final 3.

Is this why Coleridge dreamt of Xanadu and sunless seas?

Or why Tesla powered the waning world with possibility

To become a modern magician, making even Covenant


And why Tommy from next door buried his Army Men

a trustful six inches deep, giving credence to death?


Are we not yet personal Gods?

Mapping out free will so as not to cross in to impulse.

The Golden Mean that spirals into SNAFU.

Situations abnormally situated normally.

“But shit, that was a whole lotta fun!”

caterwaul the masses bulging within squares,

crowded by the parameters of an unkempt area.

This math is never pretty

and there is always more room for

mayhem in circles.

And they can never be perfect.

Sorry Giotto, sorry Maynard.


Our lives are a bit of evolution crammed in a bottle,

set to sea searching for a hand to unravel us.

This is a message we all want but is too faint to hear.

The meaning, the truth, a base language

from which the homeless man on Zion

and the Doctor in a penthouse on Park Street meet,

exchange business cards and dine in a Venn Diagram.

All lives seem parallel from afar, for ever forward,

never touching yet so close.

But in the end we are all living adjacent,

different products but the sum is always the same.


We’re all aching to grow up until we die in reverse.

This is the paradox wrapped within a conundrum.

We are born babes to fade away babes.

Only left the in-betweens

and the distance.

To make what is null valuable.

So as that when the void becomes the monkey

clawing on a broken back, pulling one down

to the entity resting in the empyrean firmament,

one can get the chalk and roll the black board

and teach the heavens why we were ever here.


This is the only meaning given, the only one needed.

Without it we’d be a word with no vowels.

If we are to die on 3 legs, lets die knowing

that on 2, we ran, fast and hard.

Living like a King with the humility of a Pawn.

ready to go back in the box until the next game begins.