hotel outside richmond

Photograph by Pedro Gonzalez on Unsplash.

PeachWorld, old plantation replicas,
abattoirs, the feedlots’ singular smell,
all behind us now. we book a hotel

outside of richmond, virginia–full day’s
drive north of tampa. bulky old tv’s
and a lobby sharp with chlorine, the pool

absolutely alive with the ignorant
joy of children who know not cheap hotels,
only that there is water deep enough

to drown in, that there are other kids too
who drag their dripping feet on cold tile,
up to rooms where beat parents calculate

take-out menu prices and mute the news.
we, all of us, mark the highway maps lodged
behind our eyes. an eternity of roads

led us to flat pillows, these canvas sheets,
to receding late-may virginia light.
anywhere on a conquered continent,

and here we are, ordering pizza, picking
the least terrible basic cable film,
shutting the heavy blinds and crawling

into bed, our arms around each other
desperate for the movement to stop.

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