We’re high enough that what I call fog might be cloud.
Not Everest high, or Chomuolungma, “Mother Goddess
of the World.” If we named things what they are,
our sentences would be monsoons, long rains of sound.
Morning is “the time I suspect I am a horse,” dusk
“the light which treats our shadows like taffy.”
The number of times my name changes in a day,
from “looking at the world with eyes of wood rasps”
to “feathers have replaced my bones,” rules out
the wearing of name tags: I wear a chalk board,
thesaurus, that book of whispers, of meaning sex.
“There’s a woman who smokes a cigarette
now and then, who picks tobacco off her tongue
as something moves along the fault line
of the horizon, knees pulled to her chest,
her breath wearing a dress of smoke”
is one way I think of you when I think of you.
And when I think of you, “wants to be a candle”
isn’t romantic but accurate, wicked light
leans in, away, writhes to get out of, to leap harder
into what it is.
by Bob Hicok
from Poetry, Vol. 187, No. 6, March
publisher Poetry, Chicago, © 2006