I talk and they ignore me, letting me know where my keys are
when I really want to know the lottery numbers for Wednesday’s game.
The bike is stolen because I don’t get out of bed at midnight.
That’s not the tip I asked for anyway. The dead are difficult.
Money won’t ruin me, I say to the empty room until even I think I’m crazy.
They wake me at 6:00 to go to the gym. If I were rich, I’d be really healthy, I tell them.
Did you remember your insurance card they ask. Why? Am I having an accident?
No, they say, as I see the red lights swirling in the rearview mirror.
The dog’s still out and the back door isn’t locked they tell me. I don’t care, I tell them.
“Hey,” I call to the living, “did you bring the dog in?” “No,” the living yells. I get up.
If you give me the lotto numbers, I bargain, I’ll hire someone to bring in the dog.
They laugh. The dead are easily amused.
Published in The Houston Literary Review, March 2008.