home | features | submit | purchase | about | lit-links | archive

Diane Shipley DeCillis

My husband dreams I’ve won an award
for inventing a word I defined as: “absolutely;
the epitome of being very positive.” Apropos

because he knows my favorite word is “Yes.”
He says we arrive in a limo and I’m wearing
a black sequined dress and he’s in a tuxedo.

We both look defitatably cool. Later, I dream
he’s won an award for revising the porcelain
phrenology head — citing a new part of the brain

called “the epicurean center,” (area of epic cures).
Also apropos since he’s a chef who likes science.
At the podium he theorizes: what if foods

high in fiber, antioxidants, etc. could cause
a reaction in our bodies giving us a positive
outlook on everything? Of course the foods

would not taste healthy, they’d taste like napoleons,
fois gras or chocolate. Our waiter would always
ask if we wanted seconds because eating makes us

epicurious. We’d say, defitato Arthur, or Bobo,
and while you’re at it, another obsequikoi,
my good man, (word for the ornamental carp

that look like swimming flowers). But this genus
is servile and uses flattery as a means of protection
from predators. Example: A barracuda approaches

and the koi says something like, Wow, you’re
looking fabulous! Your scales are shimmery
as sequins and your eyes clear, not a bit cloudy

The predator responds, You really think so?
Koi says, Oh, de-fi-tato, Cuda, And you
smell good too
. And what if

in this epicurean center, these fish model a virtual
immune system that never turns against itself,
creating a climate that fends off free radicals,

sibling rivalry and inspires truly democratic
nations — a place where dreamers are always
welcome in each other’s dream.