The Carob Will Come Around
It doesn’t matter if you send less carob
into the sky, how many parts per billion
enter the airstream and roll over the light rail.
Today is calling you to your janitor’s job
where you report to a man with
a shaved head and sunglasses that ride
the back of it. His lesson to you is
that garbage is a cousin to dirt,
soil deserves its hurried last rites.
But you know the rose bush cuttings
that once stood in a bucket of
water now live off the land.
And you learn from the brown spots
which are beginning to emerge on
the back of your hand that time
will ransom your ass for a chance
to appear malevolent and endless.
A crow will call out your name in
anger. A dog will greedily sniff at
your gamey crotch. It doesn’t matter
how much carob you plant in
the ground as long as you show a little
interest in keeping things real and sweet.
The weatherman will unleash another one
of his predictions: the carob will come around.
Tim Kahl is the author of Possessing Yourself (CW Books, 2009), The Century of Travel (CW Books, 2012) and The String of Islands (Dink, 2015). His work has been published in Prairie Schooner, Drunken Boat, Mad Hatters’ Review,and many other literary journals. He edits Clade Song and is vice president and events coordinator of The Sacramento Poetry Center. Kahl currently teaches at California State University, Sacramento, where he sings lieder while walking on campus between classes.