Maurin Quina
by Leonetto Cappiello
Hangover Sestina
© 2001 by PJ Nights

If the stars of Gemini hadn’t been invaded by Jupiter,
perhaps that malarkey with the crocodiles
wouldn’t have left me here at the North Pole
crying into my over-the-top tequila shot.
This next morning, I'm hung in my hangover,
sucker-punched by my need for Visine,

but I am without my fanny pack and Visine,
my only open eye as red as the spot of Jupiter.
Somehow my purse has been left with the crocodiles,
invaders of that boat I'd propelled with a pole
down the river Styx, the crocs I wished I’d shot
before those wannabe-dinosaurs left me over

a barrel. The natives in my head are restless over
the dearth of bottle cola and Visine,
and are pondering the rings (yes rings) of Jupiter.
Bottle cola for the desert of my mouth, what crock. Oh dials
of my watches (yes I see two), hear the one about the Pole,
the rabbi, and the Frenchman? Never mind...I am shot

through with alcohol poisoning, one shot
too many, throwing the contents of my stomach over
the space next to my right hand where I should find my Visine.
No boundary between atmosphere and solid ground on Jupiter,
is that where I am? At least the crocodiles
can’t reach me here with the merest mental dipole

to keep apart the north and the south pole
of my aching head. Was that a pot-shot
at a person so obviously in need of an over-
haul? How can you be so cruel to one sans Visine
under the now darkening sky, under untwinkling Jupiter?
You rub it in with your “Viva les crocodiles!”

Reptilian Roto-rooters, those foul crocodiles
who have so blackheartedly left me one pole
short of a teepee, one mini-golf shot
shy of whirling light dervishes and a free game. Over-
rated bottle cola, Excedrin doses and Visine,
overrated critical mass, yet a star (NOT!) is Jupiter.

Suddenly, the reign of the crocodiles is over,
stolen by a long-shot vaulter with a pole.
And, any ways, Visine can’t cure the red-eye of Jupiter.

Slow Trains Winter 2001-2002
Slow Trains Anthology