The Woman In the Box

Steve Sibra


Epigraph: “Twenty-six-year-old Colorado bride suffers massive stroke, dies while dancing at the party after her wedding.”

Each touch of wind; a lung
like bellows through a skeleton
bones turned yellow under a torrent
of tears. Once a year
he opens her up
lets a fly scrape its heels in her dust
razor legs rub
scrub twelve months as tiny bits of rust
drift into blonde white detail.

The lace, the gown all but gone,
lost now forever her modesty’s tint
he cannot bear to touch
her last wisps of hair
too brittle to withstand the brush
too fragile for the rustling air.

Each year on the anniversary of their beginning
he cracks both windows first
before unveiling her boarded throne;
he creates a passing breeze
to watch as gentle winds reanimate
the world he so longed to live in,
now driven, like his madness
into a simple box of unforgiven bone.




Steve Sibra grew up on a farm near the very small town of Big Sandy, Montana. After college, Steve opened a retail store buying and selling vintage comic books, a career he enjoyed for over 30 years. His poetry and short fiction have appeared in numerous literary publications including Matador Review, NRG, Crab Fat Magazine and others. Steve and his wife Stacey live in Seattle.