One Night's Motel Sleep

 

One Night's Motel Sleep

Everything hurts tonight.
Even the fan has an unfamiliar hum

as if it's been spinning for far too long.

There's so much dust that even
the dried streams of spilled paint
that have dribbled down
these motel walls
from a thousand prior paint jobs,
leaving veins of hard, white tears
crusted to the drywall,
carry dust.

They are like little, old rivers.
I sometimes push them with my fingertips.
They are dried and yet they still
give under pressure a bit.
They still feel soft.

I briefly close my eyes and
colorful static flutters about inside my eyelids.
I cannot escape this visual noise.
It is not black with my eyes closed.
It's as if my eyes are
attempting to receive a broadcast
but have no idea that the connection has been cut.
I am off the air.

I open my eyes, get up from my chair
and look over at the bed.
I see you lying there, asleep.

I light the room with my phone
and stumble quietly forward.
I slide into the bed slowly as not to wake you.
And then I kick the night stand and
EVERYTHING falls off.

I am suddenly a tambourine player.
Or a blacksmith.
Or a bell choir.

I check to see what damage has been done.
Nothing.
Everything is fine.

I lie down,
and just before I attempt to close my eyes once again,
I think of how grateful I am
that you are not something else,
like a bag of dirty laundry or a sack full of groceries.

I think of how grateful I am that the sheets
are moving with your breath and that
you are alive and not dead like
most people that have walked on this Earth.

I then slowly lie my arm over your shoulder.
And I close my eyes.
And the static inside subsides.
And the fan's noise turns to music.
And the paint seals us in.

And I sink with you
into another
wonderful
night.