My living room is flooding, waist deep, and I can do nothing
but quiver and hope, like an earwig fallen from the curtain folds
of someone else's bathtub dream. I slip down the white sides
of sleep into morning's muddle, dehydrated, seeking
the flesh and burst of a grape.
This is an unfamiliar house, filled with familiar people who don't
belong together, who don't belong together
just as the courses of a fine dinner are not stirred
willy-nilly and drunk from a skinny glass
like so much Slim-Fast. I squirm through
clouds, dodging uncomfortable greetings,
Detroit-sized potholes, knowing that on these premises
are two people here to take me to a new home.
The rolled up art in the kitchen offers direction,
but its nuances blur into the din of too many friends on one couch.
Guilt extinguishes my street-corner cigarette, leaves no recourse
but the sip of a whiskey and tonic, the night's record,
and the resolve to try, tomorrow.
If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you.
This is the principal difference between a dog and a man.
-- Mark Twain, "Pudd'nhead Wilson's Calendar"
This page was last modified on 2011 December 20. "Last Night in Lansing" by John Sullivan is Copyright ©2003 - 2011, and licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.