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motel copyhis laugh punctuates his campfire tales

infecting you with warmth –

your limbs relax into a hot water bath

of the safe place of his heart.


he spins a truthfulness into your head,

revolves your name around his tongue,

you tend to believe whatever he’s said

when he’s tangled up in damp sheets on the bed.


he rubs his eyes like an exhausted child

intent on staying awake to prove a point.

sometimes his expression is astonishingly mild,

other times it’s like he’s burning up inside.


there’s a languor to his

early morning limbs.

he could wring his hair out,

its black tendrils drip over

the honey toned sweetness of his face.


he’s slick with sweat and accident

in a sticky Louisiana summertime

where the air feels like long ago

and the road in the distance shimmers

like you once saw in a movie.


the nicotine kisses you used to find

so intoxicating you shy away from now,

his mouth like an ashtray on yours,

his face lit and unlit by the lights of cars

pulling in and out of the motel lot.


there’s times his turning and setting

his watch down on the night stand

by the budget room queensize bed

has a finality as definite as

the metallic slide and click

of someone behind you loading a gun.


Photo by Belinda