The Nyx Café

By Ron Salisbury
Day stood by our table with her eager smile,
pad and pen at ready.
“Today we only have two specials,” she said.
“The first one includes an amuse bouche;
one hour and a half of good sleep. Upon waking
you wonder why? Then realize you’re still damp
from a hot flash. The appetizer is a couple of hours
when the pillows are too soft, too hard, or both,
the bed clothes too heavy, cramp in your big toe,
wondering if you should call the doctor about
that little pain in your side. Suddenly you realize
you have been asleep because of the dream you had
filled with people you absolutely don’t know.
The main course is filled with noise—traffic, but
you live on a cul-de-sac, the overhead fan but
it’s not on, a strange hum from the kitchen,
the dogs rushing downstairs and you get up
to check and find them both at their water bowls,
you might as well see if the doors are locked. Then
three delightful dreams, three in a row of three
important things in your life you never finished.
Dessert is an hour of deep sleep at the end
to remind you that some people sleep this way
all the time.”
“Tonight’s second special,” she said, “is much less
complex, but an intense flavor experience—you just
can’t sleep. I recommend as a paring, you try
imagining counting backwards from one hundred,
the telephone poles wizzing by your imaginary
ride down a desert road. That thing with sheep
is totally overrated.  Dessert is also quite simple:
a parfait filled with the thankfulness that night
is over.”
“She’s so sweet,” Eunice said, as day left with our order.
“I’m glad we didn’t get the harpy with a pencil stuck
in her hairbun.”
Ron Salisbury

“Since the seventh grade, all I’ve ever wanted to be is a poet,” he said. “It is a great honor to be chosen as San Diego’s first Poet Laureate. This appointment will empower me to represent the dynamic San Diego I love and promote. It will allow me to teach and encourage poetry to an even higher presence than I already do. I want to give back to the city that adopted me, share my poetry with its people and share San Diego with the world.”

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