Ode to a Skeleton Key
BY BRUCE BOND
Once I saw you as the silent tongue
in the bell of lamplight above my bed
and thought, how strange to have any other,
or locks for that matter, though even then
you betrayed only the oldest closet,
the dark no greed or anger would disturb.
Just the curious eye, at best, the small
god that flings an arrow through the hole.
To cross the still threshold and yet remain
concealed, is that what a child wants,
what a god imagines, or the coroner’s
blade, bearing down to part the curtain.
To be the one who walks invisibly
in paradise, or here among the mourners,
shy to lean over the closed eyes,
to slip the bolt, as if the many deaths
we cannot die were one now, our own
cut to fit, shadow to shadow, and turn.