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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Bob Hicok
Bob Hicok
Bob Hicok was born in 1960. His most recent collection, This Clumsy...
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FURTHER READING
Poems about Identity
A Legacy
by Prageeta Sharma
Black Laws
by Roger Reeves
Dream In Which I Meet Myself
by Lynn Emanuel
Escape
by Elinor Wylie
For Crying Out Loud
by Terrance Hayes
Imaginary June
by C. D. Wright
Instructions on Damaging the Monster's Cloak of Invisibility
by Bradley Paul
Mirrors
by Tada Chimako
Mrs. Cavendish and the Dancer
by Stephen Dunn
mulberry fields
by Lucille Clifton
My Teacup
by Alli Warren
On Anti-Biography
by Will Alexander
On Disappearing
by Major Jackson
Self-portrait as Thousandfurs
by Stacy Gnall
Sympathy
by Edith Franklin Wyatt
The Fare-well Letters [excerpt]
by Evie Shockley
The Purpose of Ritual
by Melissa Broder
Woman in Front of Poster of Herself
by Alice Notley
Contemporary Love Poems
A Tyrant Seeks Conclusion in the Known Self
by Emily Kendal Frey
corydon & alexis, redux
by D. A. Powell
Credo
by Matthew Rohrer
Epithalamium
by Matthew Rohrer
Fons
by Pura López-Colomé
Footprint on Your Heart
by Gary Lenhart
Hey You
by Adrian Blevins
Holding Pattern
by Timothy Liu
Hotel Berlin
by Cynthia Cruz
I Want the Certainty of Love in Another Language
by Christie Ann Reynolds
If You Must Hide Yourself From Love
by Christopher Salerno
It Was Raining In Delft
by Peter Gizzi
Long Distance II
by Tony Harrison
Love Poem
by Graham Foust
Marriage: A Daybook
by Nicole Cooley
My Heart
by Kim Addonizio
Rime Riche
by Monica Ferrell
San Antonio
by Naomi Shihab Nye
syntax
by Maureen N. McLane
The Ear is an Organ Made for Love
by E. Ethelbert Miller
The Ecstasy
by Phillip Lopate
The Embrace
by Mark Doty
The Emperor
by Matthew Rohrer
The Kiss
by Stephen Dunn
The Long Deployment
by Jehanne Dubrow
The Love-Hat Relationship
by Aaron Belz
The Meaning of Zero: A Love Poem
by Amy Uyematsu
To Dorothy
by Marvin Bell
When a Woman Loves a Man
by David Lehman
When Someone Says I Love You the Whole
by Karyna McGlynn
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Happy first anniversary (in anticipation of your thirty ninth)

 
by Bob Hicok

I don't have much time. I'm an important person
to chickadees and mourning doves, whose feeder 
was smashed last night by a raccoon. Soon 
I'll be wielding duct tape, noticing the dew, 
wanting to bathe in it, hoping the awkwardness 
of yesterday (three instances of people talking 
with bear traps for mouths) never repeats itself 
and we all go forward as if to a party 
for a five year old who refuses to smash candy 
out of a burro. It's too cute, the burro, too real 
for him not to ask his mother, can I keep it, 
and when the other children cry, they're given 
lake front property, it works out, this 
is what I see for you, the working out. Think of the year 
behind you as a root or think of going to Spain 
and feeling sorry for bulls or don't think, 
this isn't the SATs, don't think but stay. 
Stay happy, honest, stay as tall as you are 
as long as you can using giraffes if you need to 
to see each other above the crowd. I have these moments 
when I realize I'm not breathing, my wife 
is never why I'm not breathing and always why 
I want to lick a human heart, remember that each of you 
is half of why your bed will sag toward the middle 
of being a boat and that you both will sag 
if you're lucky together, be lucky together 
and acquire in sagging more square footage 
to kiss and to hold. And always remember 
that I hate you for being so much closer 
than I am to where none of us ever get to go 
again - first look, first touch, first 
inadvertent brush of breath or hair, first time 
you turned over and looked at who was surprising 
you by how fully she was there.
About this poem:
"This poem was written for Elaina and Ash. Those are aliases for Betty and Veronica. Which are aliases for Gertrude and Alice. Come to think of it, I don't know who this poem was written for or who I am. But you, I know who you are. You're an amazing juggler. Look at all those chainsaws and neuroses and dreams you keep in the air."

—Bob Hicok






Copyright 2013 by Bob Hicok. Used with permission of the author. This poem appeared in Poem-A-Day on December 13, 2013. Browse the Poem-A-Day archive.
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