Nora Hickey




My parents tell my brother and I about
the future. A severance. A cutting off

from some source. By the sink, our parents
hold each other like dandelions.

Did you ever see a weed so ripe?
A billion little eyes about to spread.

If I planted, and I don’t know a thing about
tending life, I think I’d want to separate the shoots

from the seeds. To see which would translate
into noise—a flood my ears could keep.

My heart becomes a swarm of bees—

a storm to pollinate the silence.



My grandpa has a pillbox. It’s an old gun – six white bullets in the chambers. 8 AM: bam bam bam. My grandpa’s girlfriend likes a bit of ice in her wine. After a certain age, a woman runs hot, flames up and down the spine, and all the little fires of the heart. I have not reached that year, but my mother tells me she sleeps nude at night, a white horse running. The yard is full of comely shrubs my uncle could crawl into. Indiana is so horizontal, it’s radiant. 6 PM: bam bam bam. It’s been cocktail hour for two hours now. We start talking about the brain: is it an organ? A muscle? A bloom of the ugliest rose? My father thinks it those storm clouds on the horizon, how they lose the rain through their mouths. Brilliant in their dying.
NORA HICKEY is originally from Milwaukee but now lives in Albuquerque, NM. Her work has been published in DIAGRAM, the Massachusetts Review, Willow Springs, Court Green, Puerto del Sol, Booth, Mid-American Review and in B O D Y.

Read more by Nora Hickey:

Two more poems in B O D Y
Poem in Massachusetts Review
Poem at Booth