Originally posted 3/31/2011. Original title, “Chastisement.”
First time you noticed
that brass smells of dirty fingers and ozone
was the day you learned your mother had died.
The keys were in the hand
you bunched up to your face
upon hearing the news.
You could smell and taste them
mingled with tears and dust from the oak table
upon which you laid your head to weep.
These days you dust the furniture frequently
and whenever you handle your keys
you wash your hands right after.
It’s been years
since you thought about