“Other Lives and Dimensions and Finally a Love Poem” by Bob Hicok
 “Other Lives and Dimensions and Finally a Love Poem” by Bob Hicok stories
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My left hand will live longer than my right. The rivers of my palms tell me so.
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“Other Lives and Dimensions and Finally a Love Poem” by Bob Hicok

by ________

My left hand will live longer than my right. The rivers

of my palms tell me so.

Never argue with rivers. Never expect your lives to finish

at the same time. I think

praying, I think clapping is how hands mourn. I think

staying up and waiting

for paintings to sigh is science. In another dimension this

is exactly what’s happening,

it’s what they write grants about: the chromodynamics

of mournful Whistlers,

the audible sorrow and beta decay of “Old Battersea Bridge.”

I like the idea of different

theres and elsewheres, an Idaho known for bluegrass,

a Bronx where people talk

like violets smell. Perhaps I am somewhere patient, somehow

kind, perhaps in the nook

of a cousin universe I’ve never defiled or betrayed

anyone. Here I have

two hands and they are vanishing, the hollow of your back

to rest my cheek against,

your voice and little else but my assiduous fear to cherish.

My hands are webbed

like the wind-torn work of a spider, like they squeezed

something in the womb

but couldn’t hang on. One of those other worlds

or a life I felt

passing through mine, or the ocean inside my mother’s belly

she had to scream out.

Here when I say “I never want to be without you,”

somewhere else I am saying

“I never want to be without you again.” And when I touch you

in each of the places we meet

in all of the lives we are, it’s with hands that are dying

and resurrected.

When I don’t touch you it’s a mistake in any life,

in each place and forever.

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