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Thursday, June 23, 2005

Bob Hicok - Reparations


A group of people look into the well. I lean over too,
we stare at each other upside down. There's a man
mannequin in the water. One of the people says
we should rescue him with a spear gun and rope, another
that we should ask a woman mannequin to make the first
feel lonely and capable of flight. But what if he's gay,
someone asks. I remind them of the oppressive condition
in which our hero lives, being, not even wood,
but a plastic designed to keep clothes from snagging.
As is often the case, we soon resent his misery,
lean back in the short grass and talk of angora sweaters
we've loved, of the expression mannequins perfect,
the one that says, my smile, I owe my smile to this shade
of burgundy. When I wake, the man mannequin
stands above me, dripping, his smooth crotch shining
in moonlight. It occurs to me we may have ruined
his privacy, and I want to sing him a song that says
how sorry I am, but the only sounds that come to mind
are of two cars smashing on the highway, and I wake
the man beside me, and we run head first at each other
to sing this song.

[from Octopus Magazine #5]

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