In A Hotel Room

Written by: Charlotte Puddifoot

to whoever finds this

time has unwound since I first checked in, clock hands creep backwards replaying each hour
the mind's wraiths tiptoe on satin-soft feet
I hear the hotel's heartbeat
                                                                                                                  something
                                                          
something moves within these walls, whispers behind floral decor, voices skitter
the TV witters like senility, air  s s n a k e s s  like smoke, static hissing in my ears
the bedside bible glitters blank    w   o   r   d   l   e   s   s    p   a   g   e   s
my mind is fuzzy as the tinny TV
how many hours have passed?
now a twilight of sapphires sifts, drifts into the room
pale figures are filtering, slithering belly-deep through gloom

trapped the walls squeezing the key in the lock screeching frantic fingers scratching
for some way out, the dead phone doesn't connect except
to shrill with bad news and more bad news, ice trickles of chill diagnoses
fear seeping like condensation shrieks echoing in the walls
                                                                                              the room

the room is a galleon, tempest-tossed
                                                              the bed

the bed is a starched white wasteland, first cold then hot cold hot, Siberia to Sahara
how many have shivered and sweated in this bed? how many are dead?
the crushing heart attacks, sudden strokes, sad suicides
six storeys down to the waiting street through the window's snide slide

what's the song? you can check out any time you like (but never leave)
escape is draping a noose around me, there's no reprieve

I'm checking out it's time to leave