it’s midnight and we’re

ambling into Cheer Up Charlie's for a

vegan bacon cheeseburger

I’m wearing a black silk bathrobe

with no sash

you’re wearing an Indian kaftan

with no pants

and none of this is real

         then again

             the Big Dipper

             is still hovering on its axis above us

             just like earlier

             when we drove through the hills

             singing that old Waylon song about

             the ramblin’ life

which appears to be what we’re living now

because we met some Jesus kids

and found ourselves with an “amen” on our lips

under interstate number 35

dispensing expired applesauce

and peanut butter jelly sandwiches

into worn hands

of war vets whose minds have drifted

as far from home

as the grungy runaways

         and when your phone rings

         it’s a stranger who claims to be “The Universe”

         and why should I be surprised

         that the universe

         appears to be

         a soft-spoken French Canadian

         fresh from the Mexican jungle

         who photographs the moonlight

         and makes a bed on my floor

and we can’t forget

the lovely, blue-eyed scientist

with a braid down her back

who sits poised at my table

as she describes the way the letter “j”

is predominantly red-purple and

cilantro feels like a sharp wedge

through the head

         then we’re alone

         and that’s when I say,

         “none of this is real, including you”

         which makes you laugh

         in that particular way you have

         when you know I’m right

         and somehow

         when you round the corner

         you’re holding the chocolate

                      I was just about to ask for