Offerings Not to Wish For
The wind sounds like a dozen baseball caps
tapping on glass. You are on the sixth floor
of a hotel room: class rings lost under the beds,
a tawdry cloth yellow armchair forever damp
with a thousand strangers' post-shower sweat,
a mattress filled with the freak accidents of others.
You are not watching the flat screen television.
You are not riding a horse up a long gravel road
toward a glassy-eyed girl with long, loose
peach-colored hair, dimly lit on her porch.
You are not pulling buckets of water
from a flooded boiler in a shadowy mansion.
You are not who you once were in a grainy
smudge-colors photograph of who you
used to be before you became your likeness.
The wind on your hotel room window sings
like a half-drunk, half-methed gas station attendant.
Perhaps you are in Minneapolis after Delta Airlines contrived
to have you miss a homeward flight by three or four minutes.
Maybe you are postulating what the girl on the bed
would look like if there was a girl on your room's bed.
Perhaps Minneapolis is dark, two-a.m.-numb,
a soaked firecracker dropped on slushy gray snow.
Maybe you made your connection and a stewardess
brings you a free Wild Turkey, leans over so her
jasmine perfume intoxicates you with a rawness
you have not felt in decades, lips near your brow,
I want you to know: this is from me to you.
Her warm bare breasts brush your cheek.
You have no change of clothes. Your luggage
is in the bowels of Delta Airlines, green with
stomach acid from the kid who had to explain
why you missed your flight by three goddamned minutes.
You have shucked your jeans, underwear, Western
snap shirt, socks... and they are being organized
for tomorrow by the girl who is not in your room,
the one you knew in gauzy farmyard light years ago.
That girl doesn't care how you will smell tomorrow.