Friday Poem

The Story of Keys
Richard Garcia

If you would give me
the key to your house
I would think of it
as a one-dimensional
mountain range.
I would hold it up
to the sky
and study how clouds
drink in its valleys.
Think of it
as a tiny file
that cuts through
vertical shadows.
The door to your house
would be a rectangle of light

that shuts behind me
trapping the moon
by the coattails.
I would no longer need
the twisted path
that brought me to you.
It would disappear
along with the forest
that popped up
on springs and hinges.
And the stagehands
and roadies of my dreams
could put away their props—
cups, pools, musical perfumes
darker than your hair.

Entering for the first time
would be as if I never left.
And I would tell you
the story of keys.
They were made long before
the invention of doors.
Although no one knew their function,
wise men suspected their importance.
carefully, they would place them
into the cracks of tree bark and twist.

Anything can be a key: a piece of wire,
a safety pin, laughter.