Today's poem is by Bob Hicok

A confluence of processes

It was a kind of battery, the Earth,
back when the bone-clock was still in pieces
in his mind and I trapped that butterfly in a jar
I thought would revolutionize the tapestry industry.
A friend had put an avalanche in her car
to drive to the ministry and crush them
in their sand box unless they put more money
into the school lunch program. She told her profs
the lever she developed as a graduate student
was for lifting the world but it was always
for wedging natural disasters into the back
of her Toyota, it seemed a waste
that hurricanes would live
so whirrily like the faces of celebrities
in the dream-cosmos of flash photography
at night but do no good for the social order.
I'd fallen asleep on the dock while the lake
rocked back and forth, baby fish inside
changing their minds about which way to go.
Having lived so long with my fear
that the skyscraper would snap in a storm,
I craved the smell of aerobic processes
on a scale only a retreating glacier
could have made possible. If you're reading this
I'm dead. If you're not reading this
I have no way of knowing if I'm dead or alive.
It's been that way as long as I can recall.
Someone knocks and I know it may not
be someone, it could be a robot
or I could be a robot or the hummingbird
outside my window or the hummingbird I imagine
outside my window when there's no hummingbird
outside my window could be a robot
another robot has given birth to
if the robot womb has been perfected on schedule.
These things usually go awry, though. You're waiting
and waiting for the ambiguity detectors
to arrive from Miraville, Spain, telling your boss
what she wants to hear about the strange work habits
of Europeans when your mother calls and says
it's all over between her and your father.
The first thing you notice after she hangs up
are windmills turning on the horizon,
making the day feel like it will rise
any moment with you inside it and fly you
from your problems with robots. A girl
turning on a light to read a young adult novel
about an even younger girl who played with dolls
beside a war as a child, has no idea
the light is made of wind that crossed the Pacific
and was cut by the blades but healed itself
on the other side of the blades before going
to the desert to be alone as everyone should
at some point to be properly lost.

Copyright © 2007 Bob Hicok All rights reserved
from Black Warrior Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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