…is not a smokestack, belching the wide sky dark
or a chick shattering its way into the world.
Not the brown shell of a free range egg
stamped with promises. Not an outrigger
tossed in a sudden thunderstorm, water washing
the cabin clean like a criminal covering tracks.
It’s not a riverbed so full of crawdads
you could walk across it like a wet, red rug.
Not the passbook you lost for your bank account
with a balance of $18.50, nor the green shorts
you wore crossing the finish line dead last
at your first track meet. It is not the cause of anything
that hasn’t happened yet, a forgotten equation
or the shoebox in which a cat quietly slumbers.
It’s not a stone spoiling the pristine surface of a lake
like the enemy of all things still. Not confirmation
that the golden spiral hinges beauty’s trap door.
Not a dragon shaped like a cloud, a wrinkled photo
of a Saint Bernard with a child riding on its back
or even a bicycle, no matter how far its wheels
turn and turn and turn.