The plates are set; the silverware
adjusted to its proper place;
the napkins crisp inside their rings.
Candlelight illuminates the wine,
glasses glint below the chandeliers,
and mirrors line the walls, behind
each empty chair. Just two of us sit,
at opposite ends of the long table,
awaiting the arrival of our guests.
The food grows cold; the roast pig yawns,
its apple rolls across the floor. . .
Thick cobwebs have begun to slouch;
the parakeets on our wallpaper
are forever flying south. It dawns
on us: we hear the gravel in the drive
crunching as if a car was pulling up.
But, upon answering the door,
we realized we must’ve fallen asleep
lulled by the little government of chores
and then been roused awake at sounds
of our own snores. Only the clocks accepted
our invitations: their dizzy hands embrace
for another round of dance—a cuckoo bird
trills midnight as berserk music strikes.
With kings and emperors we dance
and dance away the sickness of the world
in the asylum, feasting on each lonely day,
happy at our chance to have so little doing.