It was never what it should be: missing its batteries
or the smallest part, the instructions lost
under spilled juice or eaten
by strange fire. Once it was rolled
into a bottle, a treasure map, then thrown.
Little dungeon of desire,
how we yearn to peek and always can’t discover
the real shadow, the right door.
Such irritations might have driven
some ancient kingdom into ruin. My lost ring
flashed once more before the drain. It went to the Tiber
where it was promised.
Once a kitten and often a ball, small things
untracking. All the birthdays
I’ve forgotten. Somewhere they are orbiting. Perfect
answers to the question someone didn’t know they’d asked.
Rebecca Aronson’s books are Creature, Creature (2007) and Ghost Child of the Atalanta Bloom, which won the 2016 Orison Book Prize and will be released in early 2017. She lives in New Mexico, where she teaches writing, facilitates a student and community writing group, and coordinates a visiting-writers series.