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  • For the sad Wallendas, and: Yes, and: My soul as an unsolved homicide
  • Bob Hicok (bio)

For the sad Wallendas

If the sky set out to be beautifulwe'd turn away or throw our shoes at itor call it pretentious as we went to sleep,none of which has happened on my watchexcept the second, those were flips-flopsand it wasn't the sky I was trying to hitbut whatever makes a cousin stick a needle in his armas if sewing the rip in his blood closed. When he diedthe logical response was duh, the emotional responsewas louder, more smashy/breaky,and I see this in people all the timeif I'm looking in the mirror, out the window,at a park, a car, to the end of Canned Goodswhere a woman cries in the direction of a can of peasand I almost touch her shoulder as I pass, with my handand also a deer, the spirit of leaping, then I'm offto peaches and barely hanging onto the trapeze of the day, you say fallingI say when, you say netI say the great onesgo without,as well as the plain ones, the stones, the feathers,the torches, and everyone in between [End Page 157]

Yes

    The best way to be a good person is to be a horse,the second best is to have a horse around at all times.

    Horses calm us down. We watch them panic about a breezeattacking grass then forget their own fear two seconds later.They weigh a thousand pounds and could crush us but loveour carrots. They let us ride them and be giants,pet their vast noses while we accept how tiny we are.Watching a horse run, no one feels ugly and useless,worried about life insurance or varicose veins.They're the best suicide hotline in the world:put your hand over the heart of a horse and tell meyou want to die.

    There's a French horse who visits patientsin a hospital. She decides which rooms to enterand seems to know who's close to death. Patients' eyescome out of their caves of pain and effervescelike children discovering ice cream when she entersthe last room many of them will ever breathe in.

    It's as if horses have an employee handbookwith two rules: You will shit wherever you wantand bring the human soul into harmony with the cosmos.

    In some religions you do not say the name of God.

    The entire lexicon of my faith: Giddyup. [End Page 158]

My soul as an unsolved homicide

Imagine if cloudsmade out wills. Being of puffy mindand body, of transienceand flow,I bequeath my resemblanceto a can of malt liquorto my future resemblanceto your mother crying in a window seaton a train as she passes a sad treeand remembers the smell of your fatheras he stepped out of the showerlooking like rain. When my father

told me to lie on my backand tell him what I saw, I saidI saw my father lying on his backstaring at clouds, his facesometimes looking like a beardand his beard sometimes looking like a disguiseand the disguise sometimes making me afraidthat his face had robbed a bank or disappearedlong ago to live with another familythat included a boy who'd always beone inch taller than I. He said

that's exactly what he saw, too,pointing at a cloud that looked nothinglike my fear of abandonmentbut exactly like my certainty every nightin the dark that a big thumb was out therewaiting to crush my essenceand leave a thumbprint the copshad no record of. [End Page 159]

Bob Hicok

bob hicok's ninth book is Hold.

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Additional Information

ISSN
2168-5541
Print ISSN
0038-4534
Pages
pp. 157-159
Launched on MUSE
2020-01-16
Open Access
No
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