in the room everyone had already left,
uncozy & plummy mules with little-girl voices
deciding life wouldn’t be about this:
house of proud rooms
house of promising “never
letting anything be bad again”
swirled with swizzle stick, poking
through the custardy, egg-tempera cake.
No one will tell you
that the room is actually the kitchen
and the labyrinthine city was the new appliance,
happy, full, (auto)mobile(d)
Havana, Detroit’s little sister.
The room is sea, dipping its hip
into a bouquet of bugs, a mosquito’s kiss.
This city, screaming “you know
better than to drink when you’re blue!”
Christine Reilly's first novel, Sunday's on the Phone to Monday, will be published by Simon & Schuster in April 2016. She teaches at the Dalton School and lives in New York, New York. Learn more at www.cjreilly.com