• Keith Banner

You Just Can't

what if everything

you know and love

is locked up

in an abandoned house?

and you have the


but don't know the location

of the house,

so you spend your days

walking around neighborhoods

looking for the house.

you know what the house

looks like,

giant and abandoned,

half-brick, half-vinyl-siding

some of the siding

ripped off

and showing dark brown flashing

and the lawn overgrown

and the sidewalk

covered in sad chalk drawings

and 2 little kids in the front

of the place

telling you they are

feeding a spider.

it's not their house.

it's not yours.

but everything inside

that goddamn


is what you know

and love.

you can't leave it alone.




neighborhood after neighborhood

gripping the little key

until it sinks into your palm

you get thirsty enough

to ask an old guy

watering his lawn

if you might

take a swallow or two

from the garden hose

he's holding

and he gives you the hose

and you drink the cold bitter


the old man asking you

where you're from

what you're doing

in this

neck of the woods

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