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Bob Hicok

(1960 - / Michigan)

For Three Whose Reflex was Yes


Nobody I know is a god. A mother and son
fall into the river's million hands, the river's
smash and grab. They go under, climb the ropeless
water up, wave, open their mouths and scream
wet silences as they slide back under.
A man jumps in to save them, leaves the edge
as a needle into the river's muddy sinews, a woman
jumps in to save his vanishing and the mother
and son and is stripped by the flood, her pants
drowning right beside her, another man jumps in
to save them all and a woman jumps in after him
to save them all plus one, cars arrive and people
get out and leap into the river, the river's being filled
with whatever's in their pockets and their hands
and their eyes, with nickels and dollar bills
and bibles and sunsets, the beautiful brush strokes
of this beautifully dying day, people pile
like a river inside the river, they keep coming
and diving in, they keep feeding their breath
to the water, which is less, which is thinned,
until the mother and son rise on a mound
of strangers and dead, the sun warming them, blessing
their faces slowly dry.

Submitted: Monday, January 23, 2012

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