A Pen is Not a Key

I sit in the doorway to your house,
writing this.
Inside icefish blue skylight.
Thin squares of cold on the floor.
Furnace tunnels through, wanders
with the hours
from room to room.
One up the stairs to your bedroom window.
One on the chilly basement floor.
All this way,
and circled back.
Huffing and puffing.
They say, stay-put. Don’t move.
Don’t look when the bus passes.
Come in,
have tea, watch blankly as steam
leadens the glass,
trees back into the grey sky,
branches feel out the silence,
full when I fell in love.
How long is that.
My pen is as nearly silent
as the ticks of a clock in the kitchen,
the sound picking a lock.
Pen is my signature you keep
in your purse. A pen
is not a key, a real key
to your front door,
to all your rooms.
I’m not the one who enters.

Here in the woods, Rebecca, I would to tell you the whole story, but what I love about trees is their silence.


Nith Bar. Men like him, unseen. The beer he can’t bother with. Wordless talk, tasting less than it is.

Deer Creek. Snow falling on trees is a sound itself. A song that sings in a whisper. A song about soft birds above alder trails, slick as enamel. Haunted in the sun that shatters off the milky sheets of grass.

Driving away. Motes of snow melting from his shoes to the floor of the car. Perfume of past time. His computer humming on the passenger seat. The seatbelt indicator glowing.

Everything’s more real if two can see it.