Algorithm for Loss

He goes to every Lost and Found desk
in the building the day he finds

his car keys missing, and can hardly
believe how many fobs and key rings

and lanyards there are, like toys
someone forgot to take in from

the sandbox. But his is not among them.
He will go back every day for a week,

maybe two, to check on whether someone
has turned it in; after which it will

cease to matter as much anymore. With every
passing day, it seems the column on one side

marking losses grows longer than the column
on the other side listing possessions. A parade

of eyeglasses and eyeglass cases, half
a country of missing socks. The buckles

and buttons from beloved shirts, the cat
running into the street as soon as no one

is looking. The children leave, one after
the other. Years later, there is only the lake,

the reflection of mountains in them. Then even
the mountains disappear, or he from them.


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