The Return

By  |  September 5, 2017
Battle of the Wilderness, 1864, Military Forces Museum, Austin, TX, 2008 © Daniel Terna Battle of the Wilderness, 1864, Military Forces Museum, Austin, TX, 2008 © Daniel Terna
There were more rebel flags and gun shops 
in Indy than Virginia, fewer mountains, 
less green for our eyes, and our cat 
wasn’t born there, she was born here, 
under the house, and if nothing 

is eternal, if the road-cut I walk 
exposes three hundred million years 
to sunlight and dog piss, 
if the idea of the rose of the mind 
is almost as tired as the fact 
of the rose of your garden, 
if a big chunk of Cali could be gone 
any Tuesday, if my wife 
and my love of my wife 
and my love of my love of my wife 
and Sontag writing about Cioran 
will be equally swallowed
by history, that mouth
with no end, I prefer to fix a chair

in Virginia, a little glue 
where the leg has come loose, and leave it out 
at the edge of the Roanoke River 
for my neighbor to sit in 
and nurse her baby, to see them,
two chapters of hunger, from our house, 
through the window that’s given me horses 
and hawks and cedars and poems, a window 
I’ll take with me when I die 
if my will has its way, everyone 
should be buried with a window, everyone 
should fix a chair and place it 
where it will be of the most use, in this life 
and not the next, this life 
with its clapping if you’re behind me, 
if you’re beside me, if you’re with me, 
if you’re listening
 

Bob Hicok reads “The Return”

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Bob Hicok’s most recent collection of poetry is Sex & Love &. His work has been awarded fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as the 2007 Rebekah Johnson Bobbitt National Prize for Poetry from the Library of Congress. A former automotive die designer and computer system administrator, he currently teaches at Purdue University.