Today's poem is by Bob Hicok


Ignoring the obvious is most of manners.
Better to turn from the man
with a nose shaped like the boot
of Italy, the bad dancing
of Siamese twins, to the lillies,
white & flecked red, and praise
their novel arrangement
in the green vase. Now that her hands
shake, music lives in her martini,
the bright collisions of ice and glass.
I didn't see this coming in the way
I didn't see the universe coming
or my loss of hair, the limp
that's set up shop in my left hip.
It's not rude but descriptive to say
her head bobs as those tigers
in the backs of cars do or
plastic dolls dressed in the uniform
of a favorite ball club that nod
their agreement in the rear view
all the way to Miami. An earthquake
lives in her signature on the bill
she snags at the bistro and insists
is hers, the pen moves
as the stylus in Ouija does,
giving a dark answer from a realm
without blood. When she lays
the tremor of her hand on my arm,
I'm reminded we all vibrate
more or less from womb to death.
Years back I'd have asked what
it's like, to be a stranger
in your body, but my greater pride
at forty's what I don't say. Anyway
truth encumbers. She might
contradict what I've decided,
might say all hopes and memories
are beaten about, that it's
like living in a tornado and not
proof of a soul so happy
to still be around it shivers.

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

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