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Winter/Spring 2016

The Wrong Hotel

 

By George Bishop

 

I was thinking someone slept poorly here 
the night before as I pulled the bed sheets 
 

back, dreaming of new ways to keep from 
dreaming. In my drinking days such visions 
 

weren’t easy to come by, I rarely appeared,
keeping my good eye on the present as it 
 

sat somewhere in the room staring at itself 
like a dead star. I’ve never been able to wish 
 

on anything other than that, so here I am 
surrounded by the afterglow of stale tobacco 
 

and bad booze, sleepless. I think I’ll stay 
another night, maybe see what the maid 
 

is made of—after all, the desk clerk threw me 
the keys like I’d been here before. Same floor, 
 

same room, just the wrong hotel, different night—
someone checking out inside, empty rooms full 
 

of new moons and old nightmares, the light
of sleep still too far away to make out a face.

 

[More poems by George Bishop]