h. edgar hix


One calm Sunday afternoon
she took a tack hammer,
broke all their patterned wedding china

and never looked at him again with chipped eyes.

He Sleeps on the Street

He sleeps on the street
but walks a maze of memories,
continuing ended conversations.

He played ball once.
College ball. Varsity. Now
he sleeps on the street

dreaming tackles. “Get them
below the waist. Lock their knees.”
His conversation is unending,

loud to the audience
he doesn’t have, who wishes he was
sleeping on the street instead

of announcing his father’s abuse,
his mother’s cancer,
continuing ended conversations.

His voice is a fire alarm:
Crazy here! Do not touch!
He sleeps on the streets
with fellow ended conversations.

Lincoln’s Birthday, 2011

Trite and true as Monday morning, this fog of a day
is wilting itself without ever spreading any petals
it might have had. A rondo of slow to slow. A grey pear.
It is too weak to defend itself and too strong to disengage.
You might say it’s a love story. It absorbs your car lights.
It makes every light holy. You might call it an epistle.
I hear ice cracking under its weight. I hear through cotton.
Everyone is slowed by it. It is a cousin of mud’s.
Even a bullet would slow to visible. It will heal any broken leg.

(“Patterns” originally appeared in bear creek haiku.)

H. Edgar Hix has spent a good deal of his work life working in Legal Aid offices. He travels by public transit (hasn’t owned a motor vehicle in over a decade). These are great places to see people, and people watching is his favorite spectator sport. He says, “Who needs football when you’ve got foot traffic?”