By: Elena Unger

What is a body but a cardboard box
smoothed over with wrapping paper?
A shiny exterior that beckons eager eyes,
and a sheen spiral of store-bought ribbon.

When people receive you they want
to crack you open
to see what is inside of you
to unveil the mystery
hidden beneath the happiness
of feathered tinsel and floral scribbles.

They slice through Scotch tape
hoping what they discover
is something they will cherish
until time wraps a gentle fist
around their sleeping soul.

But they never quite know
what will lie inside
until they are face to face
with unfolded flaps.

Because a body is simply a cardboard box.
The gift itself is bearing witness
to the box’s contents: a treasure to hold
through fleeting years.