Safe: A Poem

When I asked my Dad what a safe was, he said it was a box
Where you kept your most valuable things
so that no one else could steal them.

He kept an old dial safe on the top shelf in his closet
On lazy Sunday afternoons, I would pull up a chair
Press my ears against it’s cold, black surface
Pretending to be a bank robber

Left, right, I would spin that dial round and round
Hoping the safe would pop open. It never did.
Until one day, by mere chance, it was left unlocked
I pulled the door back to see what was inside

I was not greeted by the blinding sheen of gold coins
or crystal skulls. I was greeted by paper
Etched with the names of me and my siblings
And the days we were born

If this house were to burn down,
The only thing left would be proof
That me and my siblings ever existed

As a father, I guess, that’s most valuable thing you can have

After I had my first panic attack, I got my own safe
This one not physical but up here
I filled it with the things that were most “valuable” to me
My fears, my secrets, my skeletons, I did not want anyone else to see

On a moonlit night, on the beach
I got caught up in a boy, who brought out
the fun side of me. Made me jump in the ocean at 2am
Made me laugh so hard, I forgot how much I disliked myself

I got caught up in the taste of his lips,
The feeling of his hands exploring each and every curve
I wanted to give him a gift my body refused to deliver
And the safe burst open, the skeletons came out into the night

You saw the blood money, the rotten spoils
Took it all in. Then you delicately picked up
every broken piece as if they were precious gems
Placed them back, shut the door with a soft click

For the first time in a long time,
You made me feel… safe.

— Kai Novelia, still caught up on a boy

One clap, two clap, three clap, forty?

By clapping more or less, you can signal to us which stories really stand out.