At America’s Best Value Inn in Crossett, Arkansas
The mist is the rain gone under cover at the end of summer.
Standing on the iron fence around the swimming pool,
the pigeons have the gray sheen of underpaid men. Sparrows
sing the night in question into question. Sense is not a place
I want to linger, like the cement hallway that leads to the ice machine,
the ground studded with old chewing gum. By my feet, two butterflies twirl
like fire that has lost its way. I find my room and close the door,
a beige door bearing a stranger’s—or many strangers’—inky fingerprints.
In the morning: a cool wind, the treetops tracing the letters of their private alphabet.
In the distance: white clots of smoke rising from the Georgia-Pacific paper plant.
All those hot blank pages—who needs them? My phone could ring
at any moment. You could say, I still love you. Mother Silence
could appear behind me, waving from any one of these dark windows.
“At America’s Best Value Inn in Crossett, Arkansas” first appeared in Diode, Vol. 9, No. 1, Spring 2016.