The Budget Traveler

By the weight-gain hole punched in the beltway
in the extended-stay part of town
a polo-shirted man in a chain restaurant
holds open a book on the latest grandiose promise
to sway humanity to inhuman behavior
with an appetizer plate

Hoteliers know beauty is superfluous
if anything at all to the budget traveler
He’s a besieged creature
of the corridors of hoary boredom

Victims and vendors, conditioned hair and muffled fear
Panty lines and practiced handshakes round him off
terrors categorized passions synopsized
through innocent, necessary changes in focus
to the shape and type of collar on a shirt
that finally describes him better than his words

He hustles and schemes
But maybe he sees something too
from the hotel’s concrete hot tub

Blank darkness, brass sprinkler head
and the parking lot flags hung at half-mast
because of what happened

©Colin Dodds 2017

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