It came wrapped in plain craft paper the color of grammar school lunch bags and homemade book covers He didn't even know they made craft paper anymore.
It was tied with what looked like
and the address label was peeled
and torn at one corner
the “C” missing
from his first name,
stuck, no doubt, on the bottom
of someone else’s package
He plucked idly at the twine
and enjoyed the soft thwack
it made against the paper wrapping.
The box was small
heavy enough to prop a door.
During the week it had taken to arrive, he
has settled a few scores, cleared space,
dusted, and arranged
(3rd shelf on his bookcase
The spot near his two first edition copies
of Das Glasperlenspiel).
He moved his hand over the brown paper
enjoying its roughness.
He picked up his knife
(the one his girl liked to feel
against the inside of her thigh)
and sliced the twine.
It snapped back frightened.
The knife carefully lifted the corners
of the brown paper, and his sure hands
opened the paper in one whole piece
The smooth red lacquered
box felt warm. He found the key
and wound it.
The tiny captive
spun to the tuned teeth
of “The Magic Flute.”
He shut the box
and placed it, perfectly,
on his shelf.