Per Chance

Philip Byron Oakes

Poppycock-a-doodle drawn in salary. Two fortnights and a quiz,

on the ratio of feathers to fin to arcs of the flying fish of Patagonia.

Balance. Subsequently annulled. Ripe yellow fire hydrant putting

the fear of drowning back into play. But. A velvet yet. The fire was

already gone. The frogmen are suited up. Not to be ecclesiastical.

But the curmudgeons need a good dousing. A real scrubbing the

lights. The one uppance in the great dichotomy slipping into

something comfortable. Seven Japanese lanterns and a wooden

Russian doll to wile away the symposiums. To enfranchise the

uncarbonated quest for justice, in the vats of sacramental caffeine.

The halls of vast tunbellies. The cradles of a notion of salvation, in

the last throes of leprosy crawling on the skin of someone you used

to know. A face from the yearbook scowls in Spanish. The old

riders of the purple sage pack it up, sell their memoirs for rights to

the taste of saltine crackers, stuck to the lips of dorm mothers

decorating a purgatory of lime green walls with pictures uncolored

by the tilt of manic confessions. The crack in the armor allows the

unescorted to see. An ephemera stretching out its legs for a long

vacation. A cumulative mosaic amounting to a thought, passing for

a straight arrow in the heart of a martyr: for the right to sleep in

church of nods and skies to come alone to say it’s raining,

whatever it takes to live as if it never, no, never, not once.

Euphemism Campus Box 4240 Illinois State University, Normal, IL 61790-4240