Before our ho backhanded whore, ho meant let’s go. Things change.
Bare cry of boatmen hoping for a lusty blow. Things change?
Announcing egress from some dully stuffy cloistered port,
the seaman puffs an anxious, buoyant quid pro quo. Things change.
Before that, simply calling attention to something. Ho!
Before that, exclamation of surprise: Ice Floe! Things change.
And before even that, the record shows ho expressing
laughter (circa ’levenfitty) like ho ho ho. Things change.
So: laughter, sheer surprise, call of attention, announcement
of geographic desire. Progress apropos. Things change.
Specially when the same cry commands your nostrils-flaring
horse to halt, hurtling towards the edge of a plateau. Things change.
Eventually, atomic number 67.
Holmium—soft, silvery, metallic. Ho. Things change.
Habitual Offender in copspeak: HO, also
the ace gauge for trains under Xmas trees aglow. Things change.
As do we. Jim Crow. Joe Blow. John Doe. Jane Roe. Cameltoe.
Crashing, skidding, shedding skin though the whole dumb show. Things change.
Sailing forwards sideways, tacking into better judgment,
using our instinct: to pleasure, away from woe. Things change.