This Poem is About Something Important

It doesn’t always have to mean something.

A half-full, or half-empty, white bathtub,

the water absolutely still;

The flickering streetlight outside your window;

Peeling, ancient Chuck Taylors

with toes that curve skyward;

A cracked iPhone 6s

plugged into a string of Christmas lights;

The sparks your lighter makes when it won’t catch;

A dead pigeon and a plastic bag

in the Whole Foods parking lot;

Cicada shells lined up in the windowsill;

A single paper cut on your left hand;

Gray-purple skies filled with pink clouds;

A teenage girl with purple hair

smoking a cigarette next to a “No Smoking” sign;

A photo of skinned knuckles,

taken with the flash on, in the dark;

Heavy fog hanging under pine trees;

Empty beer cans in a bathroom sink;

A 2009 silver Nissan Altima

with one brake light missing;

The word “aesthetic” on a slip of paper,

typed and printed in Helvetica;

The traffic light down the block

that blinks yellow after 10 pm;

A half-full, or half-empty, white bathtub,

a single ripple crossing the surface.

It doesn’t always have to mean something.