Gritty Details

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Tonight's Poet Corner: The Deer Head Lodge

The Deer Head Lodge
by Belinda Roddie

There's never a vacancy at the Deer Head Lodge,
but I visit my lover there every Wednesday night.
She's lived in the same room for eight years or so,
and she doesn't mind not having a kitchen. She always

has champagne in the mini-fridge, and she always
serves it in a big silver bucket of ice, and she
always toasts to the new year, even when it's
Monday, January the second. Once the carbonation's

settled in our stomachs, she turns on the TV, but
she reads a book while the local news plays. The
star anchor is young and blonde and beautiful. Her
lips are like red sailboats floating
on an endless brown sea.

The Deer Head Lodge has a grille and bar,
and my lover can afford every entree and cocktail
on the menu. Her father's inheritance could have paid
for a house, but she prefers the rough intimacy

of a hotel room. Sheets that weren't meant
for just us now coil around my ankles and leave
me smelling like her: Rib-eye steak and steamed
broccoli, scallops and spilled Merlot, lychee
martinis and tiramisu. And sweat.

Every Wednesday night is the same: We eat
at the grill, we drink champagne, we fuck,
and we read novels together while the news
anchor recites the latest headlines with those red lips.
There's never a vacancy at the Deer Head Lodge,

though I wonder if it's because, like my lover,
there are people in those rooms who bury themselves
under the covers, shut the blinds that now conceal
the outside world, and never want to check out.

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