Twenty Motels

In the first motel, we'd ditched our parents. 

In the second, we got caught. 

After a dozen, I remember a green one, flickering
like a stripe on the highway. We blinked
and passed. 

In the fifteenth motel, I slept alone but the bed
was crowded with grief. 

And another, halfway between two borders north
and south, three languages and every line

Each motel the set of a terrible play. 

The motel with stairs inside, so a hotel really.
The small squarish bed we laughed about and described as European,
and the sketch I made of you on the bus. 

The motel just far enough away. Where the ice
from the plastic bucket turned to runnels
along our skin. 

The one with a pool, at which all the lights
ached and I existed as a cabinet amid a family.
My sticky hinge. 

Every circular drive uncanny / familiar / strange,
culminating in the handing over of a key. 

The scent when you enter each room.
The odor when you leave it. 

The perpetual abandon. The abandonment
of perpetuity. 

Each room breathing like the spaces left
in a loaded sentence. 

On each borrowed bed a suspect pillow
to which you can only succumb.