• Vol. 08
  • Chapter 12
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We heard the latches laughing. The key? It was finished, lost in the wet ground. Back we went, retracing our steps on the soaking path, as rain forced the half-slack fencewire to chatter alongside us. It skittered ahead, back, behind us, racing back and forth.
After two hours I said, look, pointing at a stone like a rusted heart. By then we’d retraced the whole route, found nothing key-like. Were we still looking for the key? In a leaf of shale I discovered your face, which I studied, disbelieving, then lost.
I lost it.
We lost it.
We had lost it, standing on the porch, waiting for the rain to finish, but it only turned patchy and blustering. We watched an actual cloud pour upwards, making the air silver and green. We knocked on the next door. No answer. Was there someone living there, even?
We had lost the key, somewhere in this bogwater-saturated earth. So we’d gone looking, retracing the entire loop, and the earth soaked into us.
At the hilltop a text made it through. We raced home with soaking phones, dreaming of the open door and a bag of rice. The light formed restless mirrors, we went back and forth through the glass. The bouncing wire ran back with us, making noises like a BBC radiophonic workshop. A serious smile on your face, you squinted up at the green sky and said –
The sun discovers a world wet to touch, fills it with reflection, and everything struggles against its edges.
      You’d lost it.
Alright. I admit, you said something else. But our words had been spoiled by the brightness, as my own speech, here, is delaminated.



Now –
On our last morning here, with our boots dried hard, we knock matches of soil from the soles. We are already forgetting how we lost our key. Suddenly, it’s there. Looking from the window. I can see it, you say.
And we lose it.