Copyright © 2002 Bob Dornberg
Truth About Love
I apologize for not being Gandhi or Tom
the mailman who is always kind.
He makes his way every day no matter
the mood of the sky with our words
in a sack and Gandhi made the English
give India back without
taking a gun for a wife. My contribution
to the common good is playing
with the alphabet in a little room
while the world goes foraging
for food. I'm a better poet than man
and it's well known how little
my verbs are worth. I am my only subject,
being the god of my horizons.
What saves me is that just beyond my skin
the world of yours is where
I'd rather live. The AMA says you've added
seven point six years to my life.
In a phrase, love is a transfer of wealth.
This is why Adam Smith gave up
romantic verse. In trying to say what can't
be said I'll take the Dragnet
approach. Just the facts. I'd be dead
sooner without you, you'll die faster
for being a Mrs., raw deal can't be more
clearly defined. To make amends
I offer ten percent more kisses each year.
Or do I do more harm the closer
we become? If yes, leaving would be love
and a better man might. But my thrills
are selfishly domestic. I like sweeping words
into piles and whispering good night.
Copyright © 2002
First appeared in The Missouri Review
Reprinted by permission of the author
Bob Hicok's latest book of poems, Animal Soul (Invisible Cities, 2001) is a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, Boulevard, The American Poetry Review, The Iowa Review, The Southern Review, The Pushcart Prize XXV, two editions of The Best American Poetry, and other publications.