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May 20, 2024

Oil Slick

By John Dorroh

Oil Slick

I want you to stick something fried down my throat,
something from the sea that we played in two hours ago.
I want you to make me eat it and I will say that I'm not ready.
The breakfast is not yet digested, nor will it be until mid-afternoon.
Offer me something to drink instead; force feed me some nectar from the
belly of an octopus, covering my throat with jet-black ink,
making permanent stains on the front of my new shirt, which I will
proudly wear.

Your feet slide across the wood floor as if you were
skating on ice. Each grain of sand that we brought back
from the beach is a ball bearing, lifting our sprits high
into the currents of the whirring fan. "There's hard water,"
I remind you. "You can never get as clean as you can back
home." It's a trade-off, this constant gliding across
polished floors for water that leaves minerals on your

We are on vacation, she said, and we don't have to do anything
that we don't want. Listen to the morning mouth for guidance.
Or live freely on our own, sliding down the hallway floor,
into the kitchen where we can grab a dragon by the belly
and squeeze it until fire comes from his mouth. In that puff
of smoke will be the directions for the day.

Article © John Dorroh. All rights reserved.
Published on 2019-02-11
Image(s) are public domain.
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