Sheila-Na-Gig online


John Hicks

John Hicks is a New Mexico poet: has been published or accepted for publication by: Sheila-Na-Gig Online, I-70 Review, Valparaiso Poetry Review, Bangor Literary Journal, Blue Nib, Poetica Review, and others. He writes in the thin mountain air of the southern Rockies.

Letter to the Potholes

This is a letter to the potholes
that chain the backstreet where I live
in Bangkok’s farang district.
This is a letter to the Datsun taxis
that slalom crusts of surviving pavement—
each driver believing his path quickest.

This letter is to perversity of city paving.

This is a letter to the noodle vendor
who parks his cart out front every day,
to cook lunch for housemaids who cluster
for one of his smiles.

This is also a letter to the squid vendor
who nightly sails his ghostly three-wheeler
beneath its canvas of illuminated corpses,
rising and sinking on rough seas.

And to the small procession of water buffalo
herded by a boy on New Year’s morning
as I was trying to get my car out.

This is a letter to the stagger of cars
bottoming on the pavement as they avoid
the Boulevard’s police checkpoint at night.

This is particularly a letter to the saffron-robed monks
who appear every sunrise at the end of the block,
the light behind them as they visit each house
for people who want to make merit with a gift of food.

And this letter is to the start of monsoon season
that fills the potholes, levels the street. And to the moon
that lights up small puddles like footlights, giving me a path
to the lily pond I will write of to you.
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