I wake up one morning
and look out the window
and there’s no car in the
driveway but I’m not going to
call this theft; it’s retribution,
paying me back for
my ancestry or maybe
for the time I stole
change from my father’s
dresser or when I watched
the grocery checker accidentally
bag a free avocado and I
didn’t say anything and I
took it home until it
burned a hole in my
counter and I had to
throw it away from guilt.

We are all thieves. We steal
air from each other,
compete for blades of
grass when we can’t even
count all the ones we have,
burn our mouths on
free-trade coffee
and call it suffering
while bums outside wave
at the cold with cold hands
with no coffee, and we tell
our children to hammer
but steal their nails. The
car is gone but I’m not going
to call this theft; I owe.

Image credit:W A T A R I

Casey Killingsworth has work in The American Journal of Poetry (forthcoming), Kimera, Spindrift, Rain, Slightly West, Timberline Review, COG, Common Ground Review, Typehouse, Bangalore Review, Two Thirds North, and other journals. His book of poems, A Handbook for Water, was published by Cranberry Press in 1995. As well he has a book on the poetry of Langston Hughes, The Black and Blue Collar Blues (VDM, 2008). He has a Master’s degree from Reed College.