busted up/on the death of Tracy Hicks

man in the moonbusted up
pieces, shards, motes, atoms
bursts of drops of
no no no no no no no
and then laughing realizing how I’m making coffee
the way he taught me
vanilla plenty of it in the grounds
makes the kitchen smell good
and cheap coffee taste
rich lovely sensual fancy
like it oughta
and thinking then of the vow he took
that no matter how he had to live
he would live in through around by
and feeling pressed now by his words his presence
not tomorrow not a year away
and so now I guess I have to go out today
eat stinky cheese and
kiss his girls and keep them close
and knock back a GOOD scotch a GOOD wine
and then I’m thinking years ago
just us two headed to Houston
him stopping at a stretch of nowhere
to take a leak and coming back with
a handful of mushrooms he’d picked
musing to himself
“Do I want to trip? I can’t decide…”
and me frantic voting UM NO NOT
because while he was “almost sure”
they weren’t toxic
even if they didn’t kill him
we were in his van loaded with his art
and only he knew Houston
and us chuckling later and forever afterward
oh my god that was
and now thinking how he recognized me as few do
drew me out pissed me off challenged me to THINK
friend soul friend touchstone bellwether
burr under my saddle
even now he is at my back here
breathing through his nose looking under his glasses
reading this and wondering when if ever I will
come to the point
come to my senses
instructing me to ask for look for a way
to breathe life back into life
and thinking how he like few others
saw me dying
and urged me to come away
ordered me to come away
to hide in the woods there
protected until I recovered
again and again
come to the woods come
where we can love you back into life
come where you can
where you can risk
touch what-all is killing you
and then LET IT GO
and how I never went
stupidly never went
and how at his death today
I am not sleepwalking
mind lit up jigging around dancing on pins
and wondering how to tell my sons his godsons
and how to spend every bit of this day
how to move forward
and now thinking how he could be set satisfied
in blastfurnace heat or literal icy nights
in his leaky roofed shithole magic space
with a human heart no really a real one in a jar on the shelf
knowing his own was up there too waiting
to tip and fall and break
and converse about nothing small
and then get up and make us a whole meal
out of maybe a potato and some garlic
and it would taste like holy heaven on a plate
and now I am writing in circles
not wanting to end this elegy
desperately needing to make this day
please him and honor the glory of
hot water moving through coffee and vanilla


busted up/on the death of Tracy Hicks/10-25-2014


About Vicki Caroline Cheatwood

Writerly. Rebooting. Evolving. Searching for great chicken salad.
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