The key knows the darkness
of the lock, the tightness
of metal walls against it.
It knows that sometimes its points
don’t match the notches--
it knows paralysis. And it knows the click
of points that marks permission.
The key knows it is only one piece
of any puzzle.
It knows the grip of a woman’s
hand as she walks around in the dark,
pointing it like a gun, and also
the warm loneliness of a pocket.
The key is not indifferent,
but it is at peace with its powerlessness.
The key remembers how it was
to be part of the nowhere
and everywhere of the Earth.
They key remembers the blades
of shovels, the knife-points of drills,
the tremors of dynamite
that finally came for it.
The key remembers being pried
and then heated until it pooled
and shimmered. The key remembers
the sudden tightness of the cast
and how the freedom of movement
drained from it.
© 2019 Ann Tweedy
Ann Tweedy's first full length book, The Body's Alphabet, was published by Headmistress Press in 2016 and was awarded a Bisexual Book Award in poetry and a Human Relations Indie Book Award. It was also a finalist for a Lambda Literary Award and for a Golden Crown Literary Society Award. She also has published two chapbooks, and her poetry has appeared in Clackamas Literary Review, Rattle, literary mama, and elsewhere. She has twice been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and has also been nominated for a Bet of the Net Award. Ann holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Hamline University. Originally from Massachusetts, she has lived in many places in the Midwest and on the West Coast. She currently makes her home in Washington State, where she works as in-house attorney for the Muckleshoot Tribe. You can read more about her at www.anntweedy.com.