It rained keys. For weeks it rained keys. We dug swimming pools in the shape of padlocks. We reinforced the umbrella webbing with sheet metal. We turned on our blenders to drown out the clinking of brass on shingles, brass on concrete, brass on windshields.
The neighbors left first. We watched them drag rolling suitcases across the layer of keys in the driveway. Later, you disappeared.
I waited at the window. I waited in the foyer. I grabbed your old motorcycle helmet from the garage. The snow shovel was still hanging next to the broken chainsaw on the wall where the clutter gets piled. I padded the shoulders of my sweater with old t-shirts I found in the black, plastic garbage bags from last summer’s rummage sale. I flipped down the helmet’s visor.
Keys pinged off the crown of my helmet and the blue face of the snow shovel. There was no sign of their letting up. I scraped keys into a pile by the street all afternoon. Heavy work. Sweat fogged the inside of my visor. Red welts popped up on the backs of my hands.
At dusk I scaled the waist-high pile of keys. I sat on the summit in my stuffed sweater and my stupid helmet. I wanted a vantage point. You weren’t coming back and I wanted to watch. I missed the air. I wanted to swim. I wanted a lock. I wanted to feel little gold teeth under my legs.