Today's poem is by Bob Hicok

In a time of biblical references

I've fallen behind. I have in fact
a broken leg from how far I've fallen behind,
and walk on crutches of falling behind,
to this tune somehow of an organ to the side
of my head, where there is no bird even
making a sound. I was the man going up and down
your stairs last night on crutches
of falling behind, trying to get up the nerve
to wake you and ask what I'm supposed to be doing,
which nuts gathering, if, while sorting,
the red tin is for the blue tips
that twist on the end of the green wires,
you see, everyone I ask is uncertain
about the color-coding. Weirdly, it's not always
my right leg I've broken, as if the failures
too are vagabonds, all of us needing
more than anything the travel brochures
so we know that where we're going
looks like where we're going and not some other
sea-side resort we've already been to
and grew tired of how the water smells
like diapers. You know the place. I was supposed
to pave a bedroom over by now, this blue morn,
this crisp, I-could-be-a-Granny-Smith-apple day,
or shellac it, or corner the Prime Minister
and make a case for the little ones, please, sir,
are you not human, though my God, consider
the answers to that. Yes, I am human: no, I am not:
technically, I occupy a mid-state
between species differentiation, affording me
these oblong appendages covered in suction cups.
The last is actually who I voted for, thinking,
once he set about a problem, there'd be no letting go.
I'd say everything I do amounts to running my hands
over the surface to find the seams, seams
I'd widen to gaps, gaps I'd shoulder to skies,
the whole openness parade. Just the other day
I took a pry bar to my face in the mirror, locusts
sound like purring when they come streaming
from your head. Try it. It kind of tickles
before the land is stripped.

Copyright © 2008 Bob Hicok All rights reserved
from Southern Indiana Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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