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Spadina Literary Review  —  edition 35 page 10



by Andrew Lafleche

Different with the heart than with keys; I have
Spare keys.

Keep a set in the truck, another in the woodshop:
The cupboard with all the finishing tools
Tucked behind the value pack cans of WD-40;
Never used.
Keys I can lose; only I don’t, haven’t, but
If I did, I wouldn’t notice until
I reached for the empty hook by the front door,
Before I patted my pockets front and back, twice
While running late for a first date
After an entire year of self-loathing.

Too many steps to retrace. Pieces swept into
A box, sealed with a lid, laid to rest; to heal.

In the closet bursting with other failed ambitions;
Abandoned. On a shelf dusted with days.
Forgotten beneath the mattress, bed of lies —
Left in the bungalow by the lake, the one with
The fenced yard where we dug for diamonds,
Found and then hidden once more, our secret game
Of hide and seek; the little two-bedroom,
Dimly lit, we slept with open blinds to
Rise with the morning sun; where the snake
Fell from the tree while we were fishing and you
Ran so fast up the drive, screaming.
Left there, in the bunkhouse maybe; somewhere in
The walls, hid for safe keeping —

Reach for the empty hook, again. Pat my pockets
Front and back, twice. I’m late, and I don’t know
Where to begin.