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Motel Seedy

 The artisans of this room, who designed the lamp base
(a huge red slug with a hole
where its heart should be) or chose this print
of a butterscotch sunset,
must have been abused in art class
as children, forced to fingerpaint
with a nose, or a tongue.
To put this color green--exhausted grave grass--to cinder blocks takes an understanding of loneliness and/or institutions that terrifies.
It would seem not smart to create a color scheme in a motel room that's likely to cause impotence in men and open sores in women, but that's what this puce bedspread with its warty, ratty tufts could do.
It complements the towels, torn and holding awful secrets like the sail on a life raft loaded with blackened, half-eaten corpses .
I think I owned this desk once, I think this chair is where I sat with the Help Wanted ads spread and wobbling before me as I looked for jobs to lead me upward: to rooms like this, in America, where I dreamed I lived .
Do I deprive tonight the beautician and her lover, a shower-head salesman, of this room? He is so seldom in town.
I felt by their glance in the hallway that my room, no.
17, means something (don't ask me to explain this) special to them.
Maybe they fell fiercely into each other here for the first time, maybe there was a passion preternatural.
I'm glad this room, so ugly, has known some love at $19.
00 double occupancy-- though not tonight, for a dollar fifty less.

Poem by Thomas Lux
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