The Lost Hotel – Steve Klepetar

We’ll be making it up as we go, searching in the dark for the lost hotel.
I have directions here, so it shouldn’t take long.

We’re almost out of gas, but there’s a station over there.
We’ll get a drink, hit the restroom, be ok.

I love America, even when my GPS won’t work.
There’s always someone who’ll point out you’re in the wrong state.

Once I found a rodent in my bed at a hotel chain I will not name.
But it was just a chipmunk, not a rat.

I ordered steel cut oatmeal for breakfast.
The waitress laughed and brought me scrambled eggs.

My lover walked out in the moonlight.
She was the most beautiful sight in the parking lot.

We asked the concierge where we could get the best champagne.
He drove us to his brother’s liquor store and waited while we shopped.

Later we were all quite drunk, and he offered us a selection of cigars.
I think we hurt his feeling when we told him we didn’t smoke.

In the morning we wore hats and drove around the bay.
Seabirds followed through a sky torn like a ragged sheet.

It took hours, but we had nowhere else to be.
We ate sandy plums, waved at children playing on the shore.

When we woke, it was winter, snow sweeping down the lonely beach.
We got dressed, looking out the window at a dead car buried in the drifts.

We said goodbye with an awkward hug and wished each other well.
By the red maple, a pyramid of snow rose to mark the fading day.

sklepetarSteve Klepetar lives in the Berkshires in Massachusetts. His work has received several nominations for Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prize. The most recent of his fourteen collections include A Landscape in Hell, Why Glass Shatters, and The Coffee Drinker’s Son.