To do, ta da

The leak is gone. I substituted pipe dope for Teflon tape
and the leak is gone. I fixed it. Fixed it and did
a little dance in my head. I see why people become plumbers
or mechanics or doctors: the little dance, and something
to do with their hands, a certain kind of smock to wear,
a way of arranging different tools in a box or on a tray.
I like my wire strippers best of all. They sound racy.
They keep me from stripping wire with my teeth as I did
when I was young. They have red grips that look like fire.
Zeus would have turned my wire strippers into a swan
and the swan into a woman and fucked her. Let’s not talk
about Zeus. Let’s only think of fixable things. The leak.
The wobbly chair. Rain on your forehead. Bats in your cereal.
Mass shootings. Maybe one of the items on that list
doesn’t belong. Five this morning in Greensboro. That
was the news. Are you thinking, only five? How mass
is that? Indeed. Next on my list: fill the cracks
in the driveway. Easy. And it means I’ll be on my knees,
a supplicant. I like knowing there are things bigger than me.
Cars. Trees. Everyone in the NBA. Houses (except doll).
Exceptional cakes. Love. And love of love. The sky,
which is not the limit but the start. Of looking up,
of rising. Let us rise to the occasion of putting down
our guns. On the lawn, in the river, in a hole in the ground.
Add a little water, a little sun, who knows what might grow.
I say an oak but I’m partial to words that are 2/3 vowels.
I’m not ready to give up on peace, Zeus. Are you?





Bob Hicok is the author of Water Look Away (Copper Canyon Press, 2023). He has received a Guggenheim and two NEA Fellowships, the Bobbitt Prize from the Library of Congress, nine Pushcart Prizes, and was twice a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. His poems have appeared in Poetry, The New Yorker, The Paris Review, and nine volumes of Best American Poetry.