Today's poem is by Bob Hicok

Moving day

When it's time, the hotels of Ardmore no longer interesting
in their facades, the small bags of peanuts you used to buy
suddenly twice as big, as if someone far away, looking
out a window at a barge, had thought your appetite
was asking to be doubled, and the little girl you showed
how to affix playing cards to her spokes has gone off
to college, that school where anthrax arrived in a letter
and killed the chemistry professor whose face on TV
looked so small, like he'd been the head of a doll,
when you cried, fully and stupidly alone in your room,
literally into your hands, wiping the snot on your cat,
knowing this would set her about licking for hours, this spite
after emotion, you recognized it first where you were seventeen,
when you bit Sharon, not hard enough to break skin
but trust certainly was lost, and why, because she said
"that must have been hard" about military school, no longer
interesting because you've cataloged their moods, the different
shadows of the different cornices, the wrought iron gate
so recently improved no longer sings when it opens, and you
should go, a whole new city, boxes of your life
staying closed, most of them, in stacks of who were you
after all, really, when it comes down to it, this collection
of how you said "shows to go you" to the magazine guy, of wearing
the apricot slippers, so have no set phrases, give your feet
a choice, I know, it's tiring, to be new, to even try, who am I
to judge, look at me, my head shaped just like yesterday,
and this appointment with language I keep, as if eventually
a handle will appear, and the sound of me saying "I'll turn it"
will be me turning it, to what, some sense of an other side,
which if you touch it first in your new home, in the away,
call me, the description, even with its holes, the torn edges
where to say a thing is to rip it, will be everything to me,
the beautiful frays.

Copyright © 2009 Bob Hicok All rights reserved
from Conduit
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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