Bob Hicok
So I know

He put moisturizer the morning he shot

thirty-three people.  That stands out.  The desire

to be soft.  I could tell the guy from NPR

that’s what I want, to be soft, or the guy

from the LA Times, or the guy from CNN who says

we should chat.  Such a casual word, chat.

I’m chatting to myself now: you did not

do enough about the kid who took your class

a few buildings from where he killed.

This is my confession.  And legs, I think

the roommate said, moisturizer in the shower,

I don’t know what I could have done

something.  Something more than talk to someone

who talked to someone, a food chain of language

leading to this language of "no words" we have now.

Maybe we exist as language and when someone dies

they are unworded.  Maybe I should have shot the kid

and then myself given the math.  2 < 33.

I was good at math. Numbers are polite, carefree

if you ask the random number generators.

Mom, I don’t mean the killing above.

It’s something I write like, "I put my arms

around the moon."  Maybe sorry’s the only sound

to offer pointlessly and at random

to each other forever, not because of what it means

but because it means we’re trying to mean,

I am trying to mean more than I did

when I started writing this poem, too soon

people will say, so what.  This is what I do.

If I don’t do this I have no face and if I do this

I have an apple for a face or something vital

almost going forward is the direction I am headed.

Come with me from being over here to being over there,

from this second to that second. What countries

they are, the seconds, what rooms of people

being alive in them and then dead in them.

The clocks of flowers rise, it’s April

and yellow and these seconds are an autopsy

of this word,


Found In Volume , No.
Read Issue
  • hicok 0
Bob Hicok
About the Author


Bob Hicok's most recent book is Sex & Love & (Copper Canyon, 2016). Hold will be published by Copper Canyon in 2018.