The benefits of love

She smells like bread or flowers, I make love
to bakeries and gardens, she sleeps
with the industrial zealotry of Teamsters
moving refrigerators to Cleveland, the sun comes up
and we brush our teeth to appear bright as a star,
at least one of our parents is always sick
or having something imaged or measured in their body,
we took in a dog who barked at us making cheese sandwiches,
we're tunneling to Spain on weekends,
hoping to sneak up on bull fights and set every
toro free, it's her turn to do the dishes
it's my turn to have a baby, we play Boggle in French
and feel things in pig Latin, she had Norman Mailer's face
tattooed around her asshole so she can shit
through his mouth, because of her I feel
I've dated hang-gliding and base-jumping and all forms
of suicidal elation wearing the safety harness
of her breath, so far I've only rejected
her yeast infections, she can't stand watching me
operate on giraffes, it may be the hormones
it may be the liquor, or she reminds me
of my mother's breasts, which remind me
of my mother's nipples, but I love
that I've never claimed to love everything about her,
her farts are boring, her philanthropy's predictable,
she's not translucent, hypoallergenic, or reversible,
how does it go: you give lint on the first anniversary,
a colonoscopy for the tenth, the twenty third
must be a Zamboni or Jupiter, must be some day
we're not actually sure of, that's the problem
when you're not married to your wife, there's no specific date
to celebrate and girlfriend implies pimples
and mate has too much homo neanderthalensis to it,
and when I wrote "love of my life" across the boxed options
at the dentist, the receptionist told the hygienist,
who was so so gentle in the way she tortured my teeth
Bob Hicok


Bob Hicok

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