The Mysteries

by Laura Lee Washburn

I hate quotations. Tell me what you know. — Emerson

I wouldn’t look closer in the dark.
I wouldn’t put my glasses on after leaving the shower.

I wouldn’t investigate, pressing
my face toward the clawed hole.

I won’t be found with the key in my hand,
with the chart or the film, or the sign on my arm.

I will not crawl through that tunnel
and will not climb into that tower.

I will not answer the knocking at the door,
and whatever is coming can stay in the box,
keeping its knowledge as well as its power.

Laura Lee Washburn is the Director of Creative Writing at Pittsburg State University in Kansas, and the author of This Good Warm Place: 10th Anniversary Expanded Edition (March Street) and Watching the Contortionists (Palanquin Chapbook Prize). Her poetry has appeared in such journals as Cavalier Literary Couture, Carolina Quarterly, Ninth Letter, The Sun, Red Rock Review, and Valparaiso Review. Born in Virginia Beach, Virginia, she has also lived and worked in Arizona and in Missouri. She is married to the writer Roland Sodowsky.


Sorry for the typo in my comment! Also love the quote and its juxtaposition with the poem.
Sarah Rohrs, Jan 05, 2015
Intense. Love the approach here, the tone of taking a stand, and tje form of what's not going to happen. Whatever is in that box scares and compels. Like this a lot!
Sarah Rohrs, Jan 05, 2015