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Lukewarm at the Best Western

Clay Matthews

We checked into the hotel fifteen blocks
from our house because every so often

even a slight change is enough to keep
our hearts beating. The headboard screwed

into the wall. The water-repellant comforter.
And for three minutes I have a deep regret

about spending forty dollars, as if somewhere
in my mind I’d catalogued the money

for a much nobler use. Who am I kidding?
Myself, for starters. I’ve been kidding

you for years now, and no one’s seemed
to notice. And so we spend the evening

drinking cheap beer out of a cheap box
and lounging around the indoor pool area

they locked up hours ago. Yes, we jumped
the fence. Yes, we’re breaking the law.

But if trying to salvage an existence is a crime,
well, then, sue me. We are what we make

of ourselves in idle time. Cheers to whoever
said that. Though I think that maybe

I’m missing the point, as I run back and forth
from the pool to the hot tub, finding it hard

to believe how quickly a body loses
its temperature, how slowly it finds it again.

Clay Matthews

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