The graveyard near Gavin Craig's new home.

Backlog: Unpacking

This column is a reprint from Unwinnable Monthly #104. If you like what you see, grab the magazine for less than ten dollars, or subscribe and get all future magazines for half price.


Revisiting stories, old and new.


My life is in boxes.


Like many people, I have difficulty




The last time I moved

it was barely more than a thousand feet—


The journey

of a thousand



with a single step.


Even this relocation

(five miles,

twenty-six thousand

four hundred


Is any real sense

barely even

a displacement,


But my life,

right now,

is in a box.


At the end of my new block, surrounded

by a wrought iron fence,

is the grave of John Clark,

who founded this new town.


My new home

and the homes around it

were built thirteen years ago,


And two centuries after the death of that man

who lies as far from me as my last home was from the one before.


I find comfort

in the adjacence

of this bit of death to my new life.


I cannot understand how people attend churches where they cannot be buried.


I open boxes

when I can


And my life will emerge after a fashion,

to be considered and



Resettled, for a time,

and the boxes


to be removed.


I cannot be buried here.

Other boxes, on other days.


But this time I will anchor my open shelves to the walls.


Gavin Craig is a writer and critic who lives outside of Washington, D.C. Follow him on Twitter @CraigGav.

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