Because we rent it’s not our basement
trickling soaked the morning after 4 a.m. flash flooding, it’s
the basement therefore water is a problem
we don’t own as we do the dog’s potential
heart worms, for the dog we buy pills, $1/day
to prevent a malady neither of us’ve ever seen but
for the basement, in which we both can see + step
over ebbing water we don’t buy a squeegee,
just use the kitchen’s blue broom to sweep
the water soaking the not-our-basement drainward, there’s
no limit to the MacGyvery lengths gone to by those
who tend but don’t own, who buff
the thin skin, shine the word upkeep, it’s been
fifteen years but somewhere still B — and I are in a boat
we don’t own, sweeping popcorn crumbly across
trampled carpet because we didn’t own the broken
vacuum, either, so didn’t have to fix that but did
have to get the floor unkerneled, or how about
the two weeks S — thrilled to light anyone’s cigarette, would pull
a Zippo he’d lifted from a coffee shop’s thrift store love seat, on the lighter
a lion’s head that roared open to flame, two weeks
of given-away flame then he lit a stranger’s and the stranger asked, say …
nothing’s ours: the smoke we exhaled into nights
we assumed, so young, were under our control as we ran
possessively through them, those loaner Saturdays, test-drive
midnights: when we talk now we avoid old stories, fearful
we’ll sound like skydivers, so sure we were at the edge of anything
other than exactly what we’d paid for but couldn’t possess.