Bob Hicok

Absolutely, I agree. It’s what we all

want to do. Unless by we

I mean Thanatos, but I just asked,

I do not mean Thanatos. I mean you


holding your daughter’s hand,

thinking darkly, despite yourself,

to when you’re dead and she’s old

and alone. That’s a loss you want


to stop, of optimism, the present tense,

of just being with her as you wait

for the bus, watching her watch a blackbird

that doesn’t have to go to school.


The man beside you in fatigues, camouflaged

from Wednesday, holding his son’s hand

for the last time before he returns

to shooting at people, being shot at


in a war he thought he was done with,

I mean him: he wants to stop loss.

What a beautiful phrase for the army

to support. In it, I hear


that we’re through with grenades,

the violent enterprise of steel,

we’re on to the new war, the war against

the cannibalism of war. Hurrah for us,


for you, fighting the impulse

to see the end in everything,

this spring day, the giant steps

of the bus she has to climb, literally,


as you would a mountain, not thinking,

for once, she will fall, but feeling,

for an instant, she will make it,

without ropes, in a pink dress, laughing.

Found In Volume 40, No. 04
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.