I More Regularly Used the Word Ambition in Song as a Younger Man

at the first of May
the dandelions wage an overnight
across the slick chest
of Detroit

you wonder which feats are
marked by instinct—
sexed-up and mindless—

and which germinate by
desperate ambition.

The dandelions make love to the city
with stalks thistly
and raw.

The dandelions are a sex
unto themselves.

They sprout and sweat and suck
at the sun with petals
of a billion ambitious

nectared and heavy.

We wonder if ambition or mechanical instinct, both—
and the vegetative creatures of their production—
are as useless as the Sharpie insignia
on the back of your hand
granting admission to last night's rave.

In the sacred house
that is always for sale
you count the closet stash of
Beanie Babies
stuffed with cushy dollar signs
or perhaps
the dandelion stems
of '94.

You wonder why your mother's ex-boyfriend's
T-shirt is that which you find
most comfortable
to wear to bed.

You wonder why the motorized fan
will blow the teabag strings
out of the mug
into miraculous air-steams

like tampon cords
in underwater

but not your own tired body
into sweet

When the spores of dandelion
fill the bulges
of my closed eyelids—

that kiss each other
in awkward

wake me with the news
that the petty struggles
of my lame ambition
were not for not

even if it's a goddamn lie

as pathetic as
the eventual man
signing into his father's dead account
to up his Instagram