Don't Ask Me
Consider the empty bean can
floating in creek muck, rust dazzling
the jagged edge of its razor mouth.
Or worms drowning in the soil
in a clay pot with no drain hole,
collecting rain all winter through.
And the sunburst pattern
of busted-out windows in that
brick warehouse on Carolina Street.
Nothing lives there but mud,
used condoms, shattered glass.
Some things never make sense.
The toilet backed up
because it had to. Garage spiders
crochet vortex webs between
lawn mower blades, utility sink legs,
the wheels on my old suitcase.
That's their job. Sometimes
love is an ignition switch
refusing to catch. This doesn't mean
I'm leaving. Five a.m., the neighbor's
'73 Cadillac coughing exhaust plumes
across the yard. Don't ask me
to explain the metal flavor
in the air, or why this water
tastes like bitter soap. Don't ask
why hope is a tadpole swimming
her infinite loop through that rusted can.