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.
BRENDAN WALSH has lived and taught in South Korea, Laos, and South Florida. His work appears in Glass Poetry, Indianapolis Review, Baltimore Review, Wisconsin Review, American Literary Review, and other journals. He is the author of four books, including Go (Aldrich Press) and Buddha vs. Bonobo (Sutra Press).
Featured image: Photograph by Pedro Gonzalez on Unsplash.