The Threat of the Comfort Inn

Christmas, 2007 / No. 19

In bell jar, the grizzled remains

of heavy summer lumber.

Arms up, maw stuffed

with thick lacquered tongue.

What Mat-Su afternoon ended

in this lazy edit?

Down the hall, ice cubes calve

inside the ice machine.

A corner of carpet

begins its slow curl.

The hostess’s pink nails

drum down the seconds.

Her bored blue eyes shift

to what water could reanimate—

what animal would tear

into poly-mix beds,

split continental-fed businessmen

from wallet to ear.

But what’s there remains

in state under the ten-point shadow

of a deer antler chandelier.

A slippery procession of children

shuffle past, move from pool

to room to chlorine-rimmed sleep.

Whatever tragedy would allow her

to go home early, happen now.