as the deathbed joke of a snowless winter.
The heat's kicked on
since there's an audible river
inside the copper pipes
screaming of inefficiency
yet comforting in its flow.
An ant carries the corpse of another
across a sea of linoleum.
Is it a fallen friend brought to burial
or a case of insect cannibalism?
A trivial difference to those without souls.
Cain failed to temper his alibi.
The faucet's been leaking
at its base for three years
but the plumber renting rooms
has fixed enough for free.
Remember that unpurged baseboard?
A bug accused of reeking
has been camping near the chrome
wise enough to find
the cleanest source of water.
Heels clack through the cracks in the doorframe
as a neighbor descends the echoing stairs
reminding the scene and its only witness
that unlike the snow
and unlike the bugs
and unlike the tradesman fed up with the rent
some of us know when to leave.
"The Essential Rumi" translated by Coleman Barks.