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There are never enough keys   
For all the hidden rooms       
In a city she once called home     

And yet the brass and gold      
Come to life in her hands       
She had once forgotten        

The memories of the lost         
Rise from mind’s uncharted sea          
A city of rooms and chambers           

And the last she turns now            
Remembering and seeing             
A place that will never drown             

   for all the doorways of memory
       drowned beneath the sea
     buried and broken so long ago

      skeletons are exhumed
       opening doors into moments
        reawakened by touch

         turning in their burnished locks
          giving them a purpose once again
           returning to the world

            the key her father once made
             a room filled with life and light
              that will always be her own to hold


Editor's Note: There's a secret doorway in this poem that won't appear at first for everyone. You might need to stretch out your browser window, or rotate your phone, or zoom in or out. You'll know if you find it.



A native of California, Preston Grassmann was educated at UC Berkeley, where he studied under Poet Laureate Robert Hass. He is a regular contributor to Nature, with work appearing in Tor’s Futures 2, Apex Magazine, and Mythic Delirium. The Unquiet Dreamer was released by PS Publishing in August of 2019.
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23 May 2022

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