so that when he was five his parents had him believing
Christmas was only as far as China
& that he could simply shake it whenever he wanted to
wake it up. They encouraged him to
believe ants were his cousins & were always welcome
at the picnic, that the ability
to predict was a great career to pursue, that falling
leaves knew how to take shorthand
& that wheels were never meant for chairs. By ten,
he had been taught that all life
came down from Venus & landed in vacant lots carrying
their own push-brooms. By seventeen,
he'd figured out on his own that sheer loneliness
accounted for the presence of
ghosts & that his true love lie somewhere among the
black keys of a Chopin sonata.
So it's no wonder that at thirty, he still looks
forward to candles on the cake
or that he can blow all of them out in one breath.


(Maurice Oliver’s poetry has appeared in various journals and magazines, namely The Potomac Journal, Circle Magazine, Bullfight Review, Eye-Shot, Word Riot, Retort Magazine(Australia), Taj Mahal Review(India), Stride Magazine(UK) amongst others. He has been a freelance photographer in Europe for almost a decade and lives in Portland, Oregon where he is a tutor.)









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