Bob Hicok

Breakfast, the most important poem
August 9, 2013 Hicok Bob

Breakfast, the most important poem


So far, pockets are good

for carrying bits of money

and dead spiders in tissue

to look up who they are. I wish


I could take puddles with me

to the diner and have my eggs

sunny side up with old rain. The best


I can do is anoint my forehead

with yesterday’s blessing and try

to hear wind sleeping in the cedars

before I go. Instead I hear the river


sleep-walking to the sea. What else

can’t I carry? Lightning, in or out


of a bottle is two different beasts,

and both horses and hours

sleep in the nude and are too wild

to be possessed. I’ll do the crossword


and if I’m lucky, seven down

will be an infinitely lettered word

for “the green that is the color

of desire.” I would never come


to anyone’s dream

or wake empty handed, even if all

my hands carried were my hands.

Bob Hicok is an associate professor of creative writing at Virginia Tech and of English at Purdue. His first book, The Legend of Light, was published by the University of Wisconsin Press and chosen as an ALA Booklist Notable Book of the Year. His books include Elegy Owed (2013) and Sex & Love & (2016), both from Copper Canyon Press.