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Bob Hicok



She has a dream and she has the same dream.

She says moon and she says moon and both put their she-phones 
to their chests.

She says in my dream I slept between your mattress and box spring 
and she nods and she hears her nod.

She says I was in the blue dress before you put it on 
and after you put it on, like a soft paper flower she says 
and she says yes, like a soft paper flower.

She nestles the phone in her crotch and she nestles the phone 
in her crotch and the pubic hairs say it was warm in the dream.

She puts her face against the cool window and they play 
where's my face and she guesses against the cool window.

She says I hung up the phone an hour ago and she says 
I hung up the phone last year and still we go on talking 
she says and she says we go on talking even while I am dead 
and even while I am coming back to life.

She is two places at once and she is two places at once 
which is four places at once.

She has to go back to sleep now and she has to go back to sleep now.

She says are you asleep now and she says yes and are you asleep now
and she says yes and they go on talking about being asleep now.

She has a dream and she has the same dream and in the dream
she is dreaming what she dreams and she is dreaming what she dreams.

Then it rains.

The collector

The museum of pieces of things left over when other things are put back together opens at nine. I work in the coat room with Ellen who is from Boise. We hold hands inside the pockets of long black coats. I would stand taller if I wore the night on my back. My favorite exhibit is the flutter, a theoretical particle they think god forgot to put back after a cigarette break from making everything up. Ellen says Boise has a beautiful downtown, which means she smiles like the green center of a smallish metropolis. Once, when they snapped the lights off, we hid in a pile of abandoned scarves. I felt I should name every forsaken neck. We ran around the square places, the white declensions of walls and kissed among shy cotter pins. Our baby will dream of the way it feels to look over a bridge at the moon on shattered water. They keep it in the room of jars of what is left when people die and go back where we came from. The man who collects these emanations, these nicks in the air, has an extra left lapel. We don't know how but why seems to be the carnation he wears to keep the other carnation company. Like his mother told him once, as he slipped on his mittens to go to school, there can't be too many gardens. And he, being a good boy, listened.

                  -from This Clumsy Living

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