Mortal Shower

written by Bob Hicok

Mortal Shower

— Bob Hicok

I met my butt in a Pittsburgh
hotel room. My face
still looks like my face
but not my butt, my hair

no longer resembles an ad
for Jell-O pudding, people thought
it was chocolate pudding for years,
so thick

and rich. There was fog
in the bathroom and then not fog,
I faced my face
and then not my face, the mirror

staring at my ass
winked at the mirror
staring at my face

and the future was defined
as an effort
to use the word sag in my resume.
Have sagged, will

sag, am looking for a position
in which to maximize my sagging
potential. I once cared
what went on back there, about

the extent of grip and rise, just
as some birds crave
the reddest plumage, and I propositioned
mirrors, watched women’s eyes
follow, turned in shop windows
to see if my pants
fit their purpose. Then love

and car payments, love and the sofa
needs to be moved, love and her grandmother
dies, my grandmother
dies, love
and she comes home and I’m thrilled
by her coat and voice
and the brown habit of her eyes. She

likes my ass and lies
about its travels, how it’s lost
focus, and there are wattles
to come, please God
if dentures
only partials, may Depends

be cheap in bulk and the earth
generous with its telepathy, I’m

in Pittsburgh tonight
and with her,
mirrors don’t scare me,
room service is a gas
because she’s alive, I’m a giant,
a tight-assed
titan because she’s alive
and says

come home, the Honda needs
new brakes, a robin flew
into the window today
but shook it off, just
dizzy, stunned
by reflection.

About the poet


Bob Hicok

Bob Hicok is an American poet, born in 1960. He currently is an associate professor of creative writing at Virginia Tech. He is from Michigan and before teaching owned and ran a successful automotive die design business. His first book, The Legend of Light, (1995) was chosen by Carolyn Kizer for the 1995 Felix Pollak Prize. This book, published by the University of Wisconsin Press, was later chosen an ALA Booklist Notable Book of the Year. Plus Shipping followed in 1998. His 2001 release, Animal Soul, was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. He has published two other books -- Insomnia Diary (2004) and This Clumsy Living (2007), both with the University of Pittsburgh Press. "This Clumsy Living" received the 2008 Rebekah Johnson Bobbitt National...

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