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Prairie Schooner 79.4 (2005) 35-37

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MoMent, and: Homesick


There's a helicopter in the museum, a green
mood hangs from its blades, I stood ready
to catch under it wanting coffee, it was morning,
which is the start of things, the match
end of the day, it was winter, I had the shoes on [End Page 35]
brown that make me feel I can talk to people,
it was the most interesting thing I'd ever seen
in or on or above a stairwell, in the history
of my going up moments, my walking down
except the woman in Grand Rapids, naked woman
on the stairs at some unfortunate AM hour
of the overdose lovely knees and I looked up
a long while at this helicopter crash her nose
bleed, I wanted a pretzel and to look
at the Bacons if they had them salt, I love
that people on the street sell food and art
is here in a box, you open it, look, fly


There was a scene in one of the five operas I've been to
in which a voice walked to the edge of the stage and put
a knife through its throat. I went home and climbed a tree

and there was the moon to sing to. I carry feelings
in my chest like car wrecks, I can't say what went wrong
and other feelings are like flowering trees
on the one day they get to tell the sky how marvelous it is.

I stopped watching the translations going by in lights
above the stage and just washed my skin in Italian, language
of more vowels than the world can possibly carry,
they go out into space and when aliens arrive, [End Page 36]

they'll have memorized this singing full of as and os,
and our tenors, walking out to greet them, will hear their voices
coming back from the other side of the universe, and they'll cry
and the strangers will cry, which for them is the beating
of the black wings of their tongues.

Bob Hicok's fifth book, This Clumsy Living, will be published by the University of Pittsburgh Press.



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pp. 35-37
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