Expiry Date
by Ken Babstock

copyright © 2006 Ken Babstock

Notice those days when everything sounds a little lewd? YIELD
signs at hidden corners, Downtown Rugs, the word ‘oubliette’

appearing innocently enough in an essay on circus workers, yet
when you’ve chased it down in the COD it’s lying under ‘ouananiche’

and looming over ‘ouch.’ When the eye notes that the pop.
of Ouagadougou sits at 690,000 a shower seems in order.

Should there not be a shield, a form of protection the out-there
can employ against the push the blue-lensed

the crotch-clutching urgency making a mess of in-here?
We ought to keep it to ourselves; between ourselves;

draw the curtains. Oughtn’t we?…Contractions have begun.
or when Merrill said to Jackson, this ought to be fun!

After all, ‘Ouija’ comes from french ‘oui’ and German ‘ja.’
It’s what we think we saw that sticks, never what we see.