by amy sharp

In New Orleans, a Bed and Breakfast in a seamy part of
town. Dentist's chair the seat of honor in the living room.
Dark, the drapes closed, a lamp's three-way bulb clicked just
once. I'm inside someone's version of inside. All the guests
looking like they belong. Muffled hilarity coming from one
of the other rooms. Paintings everywhere, on the walls, the
floor. Painted by the proprietress who, on the side, reads the
Tarot. In her long black gown she doesn't mind telling me
things look rather dismal. Something about the Queen of
Swords and the Hanged Man. I wake early the next morning
for a flight. 5 A.M. She's sitting in the dentist's chair, reading a
book about the end of the century. Says a man like me needs
a proper breakfast. Wants to know everything I dreamed.
This, I tell her, I think I dreamed this.

-Stephen Dunn