Apr 22, 2008

Spree fall

Written by Bob Hicok

Read by Beth Ann Fennelly

The maple leaves are as big as my face.
If I was going to rob a bank, I’d wear this mask
of falling, kind of yellow and orange,
“he had a yorange face,” the teller would say.
I’m far away, counting the loot. Not that it matters
but there’s nothing I want to buy. The only reason
for a motorcycle is the metallic flatulence,
I’m sure knife sharpeners mean well
but I like my blades dull, to have to lean
into cutting the body into pieces.
There’s no body, no crime. I put one leaf
on each stair: falling walks up,
falling walks down. Put one in the mailbox
with your address: falling arrives.
There were two box turtles on the road,
one crushed, one not. I put the crushed one
under leaves, picked the other one up
and made the sound of an airplane as I walked it
to the side. Always the feeling
of large transportation going on over my head,
making its own propeller sound, God you say
and I say something gets us around
we’re not equipped to hear. This one leaf
jumped right in front of me, I wondered
how many suicides wave goodbye, where the unseen
gestures go. More important than the note I left
under your windshield-wiper was the notion
we can be shielded. The note blew away, but where
it was, there’s the chance I could have said
anything, even what you needed to hear.

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