but if anyone asks,
tell them we're fine."
And the seams on the box went quiet for days.
It only took a few hours for you and I to
get bored and drive out to the hardware store;
we bought two boxes of lightbulbs -- I held
one in each hand --
and you carried the extension cords to the woman at the counter.
We paid in bills fresh and warm from the bank.
And for a week -- between cups of tea
warmed in the sun from the kitchen window, between
sandwiches we shaped into stars with cookie cutters --
we hung the lightbulbs from the sockets in the ceiling.
And we wondered if they knew
we didn't have any honey after all.
"If anyone asks," came the voice on the 22nd,
"we're fine. You remember?"
"We remember," I said. I looked at you silently.
They would never know.
There were hunger moans on only the thirteenth day
and it made me remember
the day we went for a walk
under the overpass there was a homeless man
near the path.
And tucked back under the supports
was the cage and the blanket covering it:
the sound of dying dog echoed.
I had to swallow hard to keep walking.
I don't know about you.
But it wasn't long before we passed crumpled bills
we'd thrown into the washing machine to try
to get the feeling off our fingerprints
over to the counter girl
and drizzled honey slowly
into the seams of the box.
They drank it silently
and when fifteen minutes let the sun move
from the first line of grout to the next,
the children in the box said,
"But if anyone asks,