Blue Swallow Motel
It’s Christmas & you are not here.
I’m alone with a single malt & the words
Blue Swallow scrolled in electric blue cursive,
MOTEL blocked in red. Strange, I do not feel
alone. Hank, Johnny. Piñon smoke & Tucumcari sky.
Once I was a dagger between your legs, the keeper
of your secrets. Now my mouth is memory
& silence. Look:
this desert is a fat, dry cough.
The motel lit on old 66 like no time has passed.
A neon bird floats in cerulean lines, perched
against black night. A tattoo on the chest
of a restless one-night vagabond.
It was never enough for you to look
so innocent in dreams. When night
became too long & you hissed whiskey,
spat on that porch lit with cigarette ends. Strange,
I did not feel. When your fist. When stairs & concrete
met your pickled skull. Strange – I do not
feel alone. This rosary. Double barrel.
There is no sage to smudge
these walls, this skin.
Sarah Warren is a writer, musician, and professor. She has taught literature and writing classes and also given music lessons since 2003, and continues to gig around as a flutist and vocalist whenever possible. Sarah is currently working toward a Ph.D. in English at the
of North Texas Denton,
and though she has lived in Texas
since 2006, she will always identify as a native Oklahoman. Sarah currently
teaches English composition at the in University
of North Texas Denton
in Richland College Dallas. Her writing has appeared
in Gravel and World Literature Today, and will also soon be featured in the
forthcoming anthology Talking Back and Looking Forward: Poetry and Prose for
Social Justice in Education (Rowan & Littlefield 2016).