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Her my body

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The dog licks my hand as I worry   
about the left nipple   
of the woman in the bathroom.

She is drying her hair, the woman
whose left nipple is sore.   
We looked this evening   
for diagonal cuts
or discoloration
or bite marks from small insects
that may be in our bed.

It is a good bed, a faithful bed.   
A bed that won’t be hurt   
by the consideration we gave   
to the possibility of small   
though disproportionately
strong insects in our bed.

The blow-dryer sounds like a jet   
taking off. The first time
I flew to Brussels, people began   
the journey happy but ended   
with drool on their shirts.

She is drying her hair
though she has never been to Brussels.   
Drying her hair
though she could be petting a dog.   
Drying her hair
while having red thoughts
about what the pain in her nipple means.

I would not dry my hair
in such a moment but I am bald.
The body of the woman   
has many ways to cease
being the body of the woman.

I have one way   
to be happy
and she is that way.

I would like to fly with her to Brussels.   
We would not be put off by the drool.   
This is what happens when people sleep.   
We would buy postcards of the little boy   
who saved Brussels when he peed on a fire.   
We would be romantic in public places.

For the moment
these desires can best be furthered   
by petting a dog.

I’m also working on this theory.   
That sometimes a part of the body
just hurts.
That the purpose of prayer
is to make the part of the body   
that sometimes just hurts   
the little toe or appendix.

Something vestigial or redundant.   
Something that can be jettisoned.   
I have no reason
to use the word cancer
while petting a dog.

Here is a piece of a second   
during which a jet is not flying   
nor is it on the ground.

I’m working on a theory   
that no one can die
inside that piece of a second.

If you are comforted
by this thought you are welcome   
to keep it.

Bob Hicok, “Her my body” from This Clumsy Living. Copyright © 2007 by Bob Hicok. Reprinted with the permission of University of Pittsburgh Press.
Source: This Clumsy Living (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2007)
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Her my body

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