My neighbor’s television mumbles
all night through yellowed wallpaper.
Beer commercials, game shows,
Star Trek theme at 3 a.m.,
I play puppet to ventriloquist,
lip-sync every sales pitch;
sing their vacuous anthems.

There is safety in this stale room.

Sleep will not come.
My mind sprints,
I am a step behind.
Traffic snarls,
rises from the streets.
Sirens sing to me,
divas fill the night
until morning’s air spills
through my window,
sun warms the floor.

Outside, lions pace
among crowds of strangers
in their stone Serengeti;
they wait for me.

Lions first appeared in [i]Literary Potpourri[/i].

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