At a Days Inn in Barstow, California
It’s dusk on a Tuesday in June. A hot wind
bears down and east. In my room, a stranger’s
hairclip lies like a gilded insect beside the sink.
Hours later, it’s still dusk; it will be dusk all night.
Last month, I cut the masking tape from a box my mother left
my sister and me. On the lid, she wrote, Life is hard, not
unbeatable. If I can do it, darlings, so can you. 2 am. A rosy dark
dusting the window, the heat a ladder into sleep.
Copyright © 2019 by Chloe Honum. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on May 15, 2019, by the Academy of American Poets