INK
Bob Hicok

I feel obligated to get a tattoo.
It's how the skin of the species
is evolving. If I continue
living without plumage,
it will be impossible to mate
or hold a conversation
with a banker. My favorite
is strawberry ice cream. Not
average size scoops, Baskin
and Robbins size scoops
but three and tiny
I discovered one night
tattooed to a thigh.
It was the possibility
of kissing a private dessert
I so admired. I've decided
to get tattoos of my eyes
on the inside of my eyelids
so I can stare at the oceans
of my dreams. I'll have
muscles tattooed to my chest,
money to my palms, the smell
of honeysuckle to my breath. I want
BREAK GLASS IN CASE OF FIRE
tattooed to my brain, mouths
to the bottom of my feet, you
to me. There is not
enough art in this life.
Tattoo my front door
to my tombstone and place
a key on my tongue
like a mint. It's not for me
to decide whether my return
will be called
breaking out or breaking in.

 

You can read more poetry by Bob Hicok in the premiere issue of Swink.

Bob Hicok's most recent collection, Animal Soul, was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Insomnia Diary will be out from Pitt this Spring. He teaches at Virginia Tech.

 

© 2007 Swink, Inc.