Inside a hotel room, in a city that you
were not raised in but find to be your home,
you are in bed, with no company, only the desk lamp
preaching a supple radiance upon the walls,
wrought with red pinstripe wallpaper and
birds-of-paradise craning their necks out to see
your face, with which they exchange cumbersome glares.
You find that the city lights cavorting and frolicking
amongst themselves, against the drawn curtains,
and on the wallpaper is an odd comfort—the same
that you take from a bed with no company;
it is inviting in that you have not known it before.
The train-yard that rattles the ground
some twenty-odd stories below you is a gentle reminder
of the world that has not stopped while you attempt sleep.
You think of many things: the promise to meet her
in the lobby tomorrow, with your bags and aspirations
packed, ready to move on to the next recipient
of your grace. The flashbacks return: years ago
when the sky and ocean were two different colors,
when the carbon and chemicals within your skin
latched onto her in your midnight embrace
and became more potent than alcohol.
You realize for one second, the flash of a camera,
the halogen white of eighteen-wheeler headlights through
the threadbare curtains, that you are not
worrying about where your children are,
whether or not God exists, or if you will even wake up
the next morning. And for that one slice of eternity, all things
inside of you bow to beauteous illusion and are made to believe
that this is contentment, or something so close to it:
your neck loosening and eager for goose-down
as the dull amber sparkle of the city lights waltzes up
besides the bashful birds-of-paradise,
and asks them to dance.

© 2008 Andrew David King



Joined January 2008

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