Tags: bob hicok

-- The bathtub full of flies

Small Measures - Bob Hicok

I went home and climbed back into my mother.
Origami was involved, I was a crane for the first time
in my life, but my older brother was already there,
claiming dibs. In the desert of her womb, he was dressed
as Peter O’Toole dressed as Laurence of Arabia
admiring his robes in the mirror of his knife.
I left with an understanding of why I failed
the essay portion of my sex-ed final. The question was,
is your mother’s vagina an escape hatch, to which I replied
yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes,
since it was an essay question. When I pointed out
to my teacher, who was also the football, wrestling, debate,
intravenous drug use, and jai alai coach, that this
was a yes or no question, not an essay question,
he made me do three hundred thousand squat thrusts, I finished
when I was thirty nine. My mother used to kiss my forehead
as I left my school, put her mouth to my ear and whisper,
you can never go home again. Every day the lock
was changed, or she had moved to another state,
or there was a different little boy in my room, his chakras
more clearly aligned than mine. Still, when things get bad,
as these clouds tell me they’ve gotten now, these clouds
of puss and anthrax, these gray sacks of dumbbells,
this lament whipped into a paste and smeared across our tiny
window onto the universe, I think of myself
inside her, no job, no lovers, no waist line, no fault line
no noise but the oompa of her heart, and feel
the tiniest bit better, like .0001 percent better,
maybe a tenth of that, maybe a tenth of a tenth
of that, which is still, as they say, something.