There is a bar that lies beneath the city
guarded by a giant alligator.
His name is not important,
he is merely the gatekeeper,
but his stature is no exaggeration.
This reptilian bouncer escaped from the Zoo
something close to nine years ago,
and since then he’s grown
to the size of a subway car on steroids.
Despite his triassic immensity,
mythic creatures need not be afraid of the beast
for he stamps their hands gladly with black ink
and sends them downstairs to the tavern that’s open
only before the clock strikes that final hour.
the lights of the watering hole
are glowing jars of magic beans,
courtesy of the bartender, Jack.
The DJs are the famous witches three,
most recognized from their musical debut
featured in the Bard’s theatre pieces.
They now mix trance potions,
spinning dubstep hits on their bubbling cauldrons.
But there’s no food available,
for it’s being used as a chauffeuring service
to transport celebrities of fantasy and science fiction.
Before midnight the drinks flow as if Midas
is covering the night’s entire bill on his tab,
and genies leave their tails smoking more
than rubber on a racetrack,
for it’s the wish of the patrons
to have a fog machine on the dance floor.
Before midnight, the club is a party
for sprites and Cyclopes alike,
but the bar falls silent when the watch hands climb
to the tippy top of the highest tower
and begin their slow clockwise dive
past the witching hour towards sunrise.
The apprehension in the place is palpable,
and like always, Father Time turns the hourglass over
to His Highness the Sandman,
who enters the canteen
like Clint Eastwood on an empty stomach.
The Master of Dreams announces a last call
to the creatures of the tavern,
like he does every evening,
and inevitably, the fairies scatter to the neon EXIT signs,
believing they can escape the rays of sand hurled their way.
Each shaft of shuteye shot by
the crafty Keeper of Desert Dust
strikes those attempting to flee
and carries them off into a deep sleep.
The Sandman collects the bounty on their heads,
for he has bills to pay and mouths to feed,
and while the creatures of legend slumber soundlessly,
he returns them to the beds of dreaming children.