sanctuary

it was a gray afternoon
she drove
and I watched the mist
pooling, forming larger drops
on the passenger window
rolling down
disappearing from sight
as their weight
growing
drowned them
each, and all
within each other
the motel
was the cheap kind, laid out in long rows
with dented brass doorknobs
on blue-drip doors
“I need a room, just for a couple of hours..”
she had waited in the car, still running
pumping white steam out the steel tailpipe
into the misty gray
“Forty dollars.” sang the brown man
black hair smeared across his forehead
“I’ve got twenty five.”
I told him
it was true
“One hour. One hour only.”
he said, suddenly– not as happy as he’d been
and then we got to it
after the blue door creaked shut
it’d been painted white on the inside
many years ago
we were talking, and then fucking
and talking while fucking
and when it was all over
skin shimmering
our weight
pulling us down
into our quivering
there was some more talk
and then silence–
faces in the water-stained walls
forgotten, now seen
forlorn
those who’d been here
before us
and there were
saviors on the ceiling
as dead as a memory
and one of the faces said–
“love is a wilderness, and anger– a desert”
in the mind’s tides, I thought upon the notions
of love
and of wilderness
and I understood
those who live
and die
in places like this
and I understood
sanctuary
until the brown man
came banging
on the the blue door
with his small fist
“time’s up”
he shouted
pumping white steam
into the misty gray

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