but he was always nearby, sitting unused,
listening to the whir of an uninvented machine.
He missed several of the woman he'd found in the woods over the years.
He told me that the one he grew to love could hear only bells.
He carried a beat-up box filled, I guess, with pieces of his different lives.
I wouldn’t say his face was smooth or unscarred,
more that it bore too many words to make out any one of them clearly,
to say nothing of the slashed and whittled box in which he carried the burning.