June 2008 / Volume Eight / Issue Two
Maurice Oliver
A Slick Tool & Vaseline

In this scenario your name crawls through a megaphone
then sits on a stump in the shade along the river
bank to catch its breath. Daily life stands
in the busís crowded aisle glancing
at newspaper headlines in
Braille. Itís one of
those days
when you manage
to forge happinessís signature
perfectly but the check bounces anyway
and youíre stranded on a deserted alpine road
with a migraine for a homeroom teacher. Someone
steals your bag of elbows while youíre taking a leak in the
woods and you are forced to run the three-legged
race alone. Romance becomes just a humid
gymnasium with jock itch. Foreplay turns
out to be a lame mare with a sway
back. The jar of Vaseline is
empty and the silly
love songs all
have rust
behind their
ears. So you wiggle
your hornetís nest until
the bleachers fits. You puck
the hair on your tongue and will
your eyes to moor in their sockets as
your pet rock finds its way home. You take
comfort knowing that another world crisis is at
that very moment trying on another pair of kid gloves, that
a crop-duster is all set to sky-write your surrender.