The DMQ Review



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.


Bob Hicok
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.

Contents            Next Poem           Guidelines