Green Hills Literary Lantern

Church Key


I open everything with one sharp tooth –

watch me chew through metal, dripping

pineapple pulp or tomato juice from my fang.

The King of Beers is just a pretender

until I lop his crown and white ringlets slip from his neck. 

Feel my heft, a steel tendon,

a tuning fork for the tone deaf,

weapon of choice in the war on sobriety.


Maybe as you watch the bottles on the kitchen table weep,

you’re someone who needs to dispense forgiveness.

Here I am, in your hand, and like a Pope,

can open the door to any kingdom

except the one where your ex-wife waits

for her new husband.


Or maybe it’s justice you demand.

Wield me like the archangel’s blade,

puncture the lung of someone’s balloon,

gouge a retributive furrow in expensive paint,

take a bite of some apple cheek.


Let me speak for you.  I’ll be your silver tongue.



Lee Rossi is a computer nerd and Staff Interviewer at  His most recent book Ghost Diary was published in 2004.  New work will appear in upcoming issues of Epicenter, the Atlanta Review, and the North American Review