before you find it
you will imagine the thing you’re looking for
locked up in a safe. you will imagine
the dial turning in your hands as you listen
for the sound of the first tumbler
you will spend many years listening with your ears pressed
up against the cold walls of many safes. they sound like
the line moving at the DMV. you look back and forth between
the number printed on the arrow-shaped piece of paper in your hand
and the number in red dots. the numbers do not match.
and then they do match. but it will turn out the thing inside the safe,
the thing at the front of the line, was not the thing
that you were looking for, after all. you will go sulk
under a tree in the park. and sulk under this tree for a while.
a long while. long enough to notice the mango.