Everything about hotels.
A large suite on the top floor,
downtown lights splayed out below you
and roving spot lights that come in
over the tops of the curtains, casting silver slivers on the ceilings
at perfect intervals.
There is no Bible in the drawer; you've looked
just to see if the rumor is true.
They're empty and smell new for ten years.
Marble counter tops and ten white towels,
stiff pillows suffocating under sheets
tucked in so tightly you struggle to get them free.
A tiny waste basket with no bag.
A flat screen TV with weird-looking HD.
A full-color menu for what you can order delivered.
Bellhops and breakfast buffets
and actual restaurants with actual waiters
serving ridiculously expensive pasta.
Eating meals in front of a window that's a wall,
or drinking colorful alcohol in a glass-floored spire,
like a princess in a tower
too far above the mortal ken to even hear their traffic anymore.
A shoddy old room on the only floor
of the only hotel on the lightless highway
for more miles than you care to keep driving.
You're as tired as the only person working there.
A gravel parking lot with no cars.
A wooded backdrop: it's nothing but trees and fields here.
Everything is wood, no carpet,
no television, no internet, no meals,
and the toilet breaks immediately.
It doesn't smell like a place where maids
replace and repolish every inch of it.
It smells like wood, old wood, old houses,
grandparents' houses and places you can't remember.
Thin curtains on small windows like a kitchen,
letting in tangerine light from the parking lot.
It sounds like creaking timber and crickets
and one semi per hour, far away.
A modest room of everything in-between.
Bagels and bacon that's first come, first served.
A television with morning traffic,
or morning cartoons, and nothing else
is important, really.
The same paintings of flowerpots and horses
that you saw on the other coastline.
Wherever you go, the same artist is raking in royalties.
Coarse curtains with beige-and-teal floral patterns,
carpeted lobby floors with faux-damask print,
regal-looking decorations that's all heavy plastic and fake bronze.
Fake trees in fake copper pots fakely weathered. They tried.
You can hear trucks, and families, and business-folk
who chatter over breakfast with you. You hear stories, share stories.
Two, maybe three floors, adobe walls,
painfully reflective in bright sunlight.
Racks of travel pamphlets and maps.
Several near-identical hotels surrounding this one,
fast food restaurants and gas stations nearby.
You've been in hotels more than some homes by now.
It's one place, altogether, one home you can count
and more comfortable than some of the rest.
Wherever you go, whatever else changes,
whatever you lose, whatever you gain,
hotels remain the same.
Coast to coast, you'll always have those
to be your constant
and take comfort in the little things
you recognize each time.