Smooth as a snail, this little parson
pardons our sins. Touch the brush tip
lightly and-- abracadabra! --a clean slate.
We know those who blot their brains
by sniffing it, which shows
it erases more than ink
and with imagination anything
can be misapplied . . . In the army,
our topsergeant drank aftershave, squeezing
my Old Spice to the last slow drop.
It worked like Liquid Paper in his head
until he'd glide across the streets of Heidelberg
hunting for the house in Boise, Idaho,
where he was born . . . If I were God
I'd authorize Celestial Liquid Paper
every seven years to whiten our mistakes:
we should be sorry and live with what we've done
but seven years is long enough and all of us
deserve a visit now and then
to the house where we were born
before everything got written so far wrong.
From "Liquid Paper" (University of Pittsburgh Press: $12.95). Peter Meinke writes fiction and poetry, and directs the Writing Workshop at Eckard College. A native of Brooklyn, he now lives in St. Petersburg, Fla. 1991 by Peter Meinke.