appeared from nowhere beside the others,
wrought iron, thick as a quarter.
Seven numbers engraved on its head, some inscrutable.
Charcoal landscapes in its valleys and plateaus.
Cut like the line of a cliffedge.
It wasn’t home or a safe.
It unlatches, perhaps, a suitcase lost in transit,
toothpaste aged flavorless,
dress shoes with their dusty leather mouths.
Maybe I had simply forgotten it.
I woke with it settled like a splinter
in my palm, separated from the keyring,
the numbers marking me. Dangerous
to ask where it led, as a boulder pushed
might uncover a tomb. Who am I
that I found it? It asked me its iron question.
Sometimes, I stumbled up to old houses,
drunk, four in the morning, shook it
in a few door knobs. Ten years
pocketed beside the others, returning
to my father’s house a year after he died,
something unlatches. Something enters.Photo by SioW