A LITTLE MUSTARD, SIDE OF PICKLE

BOB HICOK

Who am I to be the one you love?
Shouldn’t I want you to have better? Taller
and more hook-shot capable? A man with a bigger wad
of cash? But I’ll make you a turkey sandwich
anyway. Not the best in the world, but the best
on this day on this plate. And kiss you
before and after. These are the practice oaths.
The small bonds that carry us like boats
until we arrive at this – I promise to love
your cancer or the way you’ll think
in twenty thirty it’s nineteen eighty six. Year
we met. Year I broke my foot. Year I tried
gymnastics in a cast. Of all the broken-footed
first-time tumblers, I was the best at being
worst. Promise to be a savant at stay. At pulling
the plug when you would have it yanked. No mere
head of lettuce, you. No slug. And very,
so very best at not wanting to live a day
without you. Decades ago, I turned pro at that.

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