“Fate, Chance, and Twelve Packs,” Ron Salutsky

You threw empty Miller ponies
at DANGEROUS CURVE signs along 461

on the ride back from the nearest wet county
& now in the playground gravel you see glass

scattered like tea leaves & you don’t know
if they’re telling you to write more poetry

or go build a nursery on the west coast
of the Sea of Cortes. First, your will
must evaporate like moths when a tree falls
in the forest. You must speak

like an orchid, fancy yet tender, bold enough
to be rooted in bark. Somewhere in the stars

is written a holy bibliography
of the places you’ve published your urine,

mostly on drunken nights long ago
in a Kentucky summer when the world was your toilet,
existence a mishap. Lean in now, listen
to what the rain says as it shines
the glass & gravel & pokes its way
into the cracked dirt as if Earth’s dark loam

were something you could peel back
& slide into until the sun returns.

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