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Airport Economy Inn

ISSUE:  Spring 2007

No one speaking, nothing moving

except for the way the snow keeps falling,
its falling a kind of talking in the dark
while all across the valley we keep on sleeping

in the separate conditions of our dreaming.

His face all overgrown with concern

the newsman’s mouth says whatever it’s saying,
explosions going off, sound turned down, wind
ripping at some twanging strip of metal.

My friend’s voice keeps murmuring in my head,

murmuring she’s stressed by going out

with two men at once, worrying they’ll cross
and she’ll lose them both, she’s starting
to drink and smoke too much, love’s

making her a liar, a chimney head, an alky.

No one speaking, nothing moving but snow

falling, falling, burying this motel
with its take-out menu, New Standard Bible,
checkout time 11 a.m.,

smiley face envelope to leave the maid a tip:

out in the hall someone’s pounding

on the ice machine, one hand beating rhythm to
fuck it fuck it fuck it fuck it . . .
Reveries of living here year after year,

scalloped walls, cottage cheese ceiling,

plaster hands praying on the checkout counter,

complimentary doughnuts hoarded in the ice bucket
DO NOT DISTURB credit card imprint
Room 401’s one of our regulars

… food, god, death, money, a TV clicker

to push the world back and bring it closer,

fantasies of lust so ridiculous and charmed
you need two king beds and a mirrored ceiling.
No one speaking, nothing moving

but for the screen lighting up with bombs falling

through shifting fortunes of the soldier

on a stretcher, body gone limp,
lost in glare spilling off a Humvee’s side
that keeps hearselike pace with the stretcher moving

above the stretcher’s shadow.

No one speaking, nothing moving,

my eyes close, I drift and doze,
dissolving to jags, chunks, splinters,
flake piling on flake erasing diamond-cut angles

of every crystal swirling through streetlight

before fading back into parking-lot gloom as these lines stretch out

and return to the margin
as if nothing can stop this pattern
from repeating, words

telling it in irregular shifts of rhythm

while the crawl keeps crawling at the bottom of the screen.


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