In the Dim Lobby by Sarah Key

we saw many large black birds

(vaguest recall of an elegant cockatoo at dusk 14th St.)

All of a sudden they all vanished;
their descendants threw out the trash.

The dim lobby with potted palms is
everywhere there are vending machines and
mirrors in the labyrinth
four or five still-unknown objects that belong together–

-a small white ball in a bare, whitewashed room with a QUIET sign
-a pebble becomes a human being.
-blue is the color of your yellow hair.

I’m looking for the mechanical chess player|
with a red turban in his secret toy,
an abstract feeling of geography and
voyaging, watching the world through dark glasses
on a rainy evening
of incommensurable meanings: three mismatched
shoes winding the watches of their souls.

Source text: Charles Simic, Dime Store Alchemy

Sarah Key‘s poems have appeared in Poet Lore, Naugatuck River Review, InPatient Press, and elsewhere. She also has eight published cookbooks and eight essays on The Huffington Post (