The Cardboard Box on the Shelf

The Cardboard Box on the Shelf 

In the midst of a sweltering summer, I met a boy. Teenage angst and churning stomach aches from anxiety filled my years until I met him. His mysterious demeanor sucked at my soul, locking me in his soft eyes. Everything about those brown orbs seemed to alert me danger was near, but people do not listen to instinct.

From infancy, society brutally beats your mind into submission to not trust your instincts; it is not civilized. Until your soul is trapped in someone else’s hourglass, you will never untwist your mind. Something about this boy with the brown eyes intrigued me. Whether it was that I naturally desired danger or never trusted my instincts, I wound up in his arms—in his hourglass.

A fairy tale at first, but soon I started to drown in the sand and inhale the dust. My lungs shrouding in darkness, I became his cardboard box—harboring the lies within his smile in my mind; holding his tears in my eyes, his pain in my bruises, and his frustration on my face.

Black and blue seemed to be his favorite colors. Unexpectedly, I became his canvas after work. His eleven- dollars-an-hour fists and raging roars were his favorite utensils. Yet I did not leave, no matter what technique he used on me. I was his art.

Years went by, and the record player on the shelf seemed to have stopped playing my song. It started fading from my memory faster than I could comprehend. At some point, I could not recall a tune; it all was snuffed out by the sand seeping into the speakers. Time ran by me faster than I could keep up. I kept trying to recall my song, but the only

image I saw was him. All I saw was him. In that moment of despair, I realized that I was no longer the girl he met in that sweltering summer.

I was the cardboard box on the shelf.

This poem is about: 
Our world


Genesis Johnson

This poem is a reflection of how abuse in relationships manifuplate and mold our personhood and time goes on. The identity and subject of self becomes irrelevant when someone is enmeshed with another person rather than being in a healthy relationship. Many people in this day in age blend into their partner without identifying who they are and assimulate to their partner. Those with developmental trauma experience relationships that are codependent in nature and often times attract abusive and narcisstic partners or lose themselves even in healthy relationships. When physical, emotional, mental and spiritual abuse are involved as well, leaving an abusive relationship with a natural codepence attachment style becomes even harder. 

Paul T

Execellent imagery in "Black and blue seemed to be his favorite colors" part. The only part that I did not like about this was that you blame society as sort of pressuring you into getting any kind of relationship, which is not the case at all. People should just be free and leave each other the Hell alone.

Genesis Johnson

I completely agree. How did you feel the society aspect to the piece was responsible for the character staying in the abusive relationship?

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