Summer 1993 • Vol. XV No. 3 Poetry |

On the Sunken Fish Processor, Tenyo Maru

Just as we pray that the Tenyo Maru keeps its hull intact   as it yaws and rocks the ocean floor off Cape Flattery, a quarter million barrels   of crude oil inside--- so too are we warned against breaching the social contract,   that glass ball rolling through the creek of human doings. For what might happen if   the codicils on belching were destroyed? If sex were permitted in the shopping malls? If people   were allowed to sing arias from Don Giovanni, loudly and out of tune, waiting on line   at Department of Motor Vehicles? And I remember Dr. Daniel Thompson at the Denver Wildlife   Research Center, whose hair was pale as a baby's, who, after telling me about   his being born again and consequent belief in all men being created in the image   of Christ, said that I'd better get some new clothes or I'd be fired.   And furthermore---poor eggshell heart, poor lungs made of toast---: That I smelled funny.   At first I didn't believe him. B

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Lucia Perillo’s sixth book of poems, On the Spectrum of Possible Deaths (Copper Canyon 2012) was a finalist for the National Book Critics' Circle Award and received the Pacific Northwest Booksellers' Award.

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The Odds

By Lucia Perillo

Just as we pray that the Tenyo Maru keeps its hull intact   as it yaws and rocks the ocean floor off Cape Flattery, a quarter million barrels   of crude oil […]

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