PERHAPS AN ENTRY SOMEWHERE IN A BOOK
by Bob Hicok
There is a night under every one
of these stones. It could be a hundred
years old, a thousand. I used to toss them
into the future, making refugees
of shapes while thinking of words
as river crossings. I am crossing
the Seine—gate. I am crossing the Arno—
throwback. I am crossing the Roanoke—
heartwild. This has been a picture of me
wearing the memory of a house.
The impossible camera takes pictures
of both the looked at thing and the thing
doing the looking, like a dream
in which sleep is dreamed by a woman
who is awake and tearing tickets
at the movies. She gives you the half
of entry and keeps the half of tribute,
while the tearing itself dies
and with it, the music of its proof.
I am crossing perception—tightrope.
I am crossing snow—documentation.
I am crossing the threshold—welcome
to so long. I am lifting my shirt
where loss re: the conservation
of energy and loss re: the conversation
of empathy make me wonder if I
am a fishbowl with one or a fishbowl
with two orange flashings I am called
essentially to feed. The answer:
pending. Meanwhile, the skeleton
is a device for killing time.
You see this in bridges. Not falling
as prelude to falling down.