Guest List by Annie Lighthart Only once, one afternoon, almost asleep on the couch, could I come up with the perfect guests for an imaginary dinner party--a mix of the living and dead, the deep and the shy artfully combined with the swashbuckling talkers. It was such a list: everyone would say yes, and we'd sit in pairs maybe, or close little bunches, or maybe all together at the table while the candles burned low. Later, with a few out on the front step, what with our immediate kinship, the wine and warm night, I could ask them anything, anything--historical, personal--and thus find out about life and time. Our goodbyes would be fond and long. But just now: no one. I can't think of a soul I'd like over, not one for whom I'd vacuum or shove laundry in the shower, not one for whom I'd balance fine cheese on ridiculously small morsels of bread. Except you, person I just saw crossing the street, you who stopped to move a slug off the sidewalk with a little piece of paper you took from your coat. You, I would clean for. You, I would like to meet. You can find this poem in Pax.