To speak somewhat figuratively of S., Bob Hicok

by Abner Dormiendo

We went up to the top of a building to jump off.
She could no longer deal with having been raped.
I was tired of falling asleep by looking forward
to never waking again. It was a perfect day
to watch a documentary on famous parachute-
folding mistakes. Then we had a final meal, final smoke,
final shower with the window open and pigeons watching.
Are you sure you wouldn’t rather shoot the man
who did this, I asked, adding that guns are easier to buy
that “get well soon or whenever you want” cards. Of course
I knew her mother would never forgive her
if she shot her father, she’d have to shoot her mother too,
which would anger her sister, also raped, who’d wonder why
she didn’t think of that herself. The only time
they talked about it, they were drunk on the steps
of our brownstone and throwing peanuts at cabs
until one cab backed up and a man got out
who was three feet tall but his arms were eight feet long
and it was the arms that did the talking. They ran.
A three-foot-tall man dragging eight-foot-long arms
is an interesting nightmare to watch run. They ran the whole night
together, all the way to Brooklyn and bloody feet
and crying most of the way out and laughing
most of the way back, I think what’s known as a bond
was formed. Still she wanted to die and I wanted
to be with her, so we went up into the winds
people don’t realize are in love with tall buildings
and debated a long time the virtues of taking turns
or going as one by holding hands and not shouting
Geronimo. I’ve often wondered why people shout that
when they jump and not Ulysses or Grover Cleveland,
I’m sure there’s a reason like I’m sure her father
could explain himself if she held a knife to his dick.
We didn’t jump—this is a poem—but she’s still raped
and I still wish I could articulate the point
of breathing and her sister’s still fun to have around
because she juggles really well and they lean
against each other in doorways without knowing
they’re the only two trees of a very small forest,
in which I think of myself as a wild animal
sheltered deep within their shade.

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