On the Edge of a Joke

.
on the tip of my tongue
a funny thing
is on edge 

an ambivalent thing I think,
as if a comedian on a brink
in a
no-nonsense universe
of serious laughs
is set to sail or sink

but all anticipation feels this way
in the space before a punch line,
in the knot between chuckle or groan,
waiting for a laugh or its dark doppelganger
in the world between cozy dream and
I-really-need-to-wake-up-now-un-alone

Jim Culleny
5/6/18

Thanks to A. R. for his dream which included the line,
“…on the edge of a joke.