Fingers shudder a soundless strangle, steam thick with the shake of the lens holds crooked images meek with cheap moans entombed within the skin of a hotel as old as its floating daguerreotypes. I chasten as a looter, a blackguard, a scoundrel ghosting money out of the hiss of mourning.
Frail, sucked in by abuse, addiction, they come to my rooms. Stale racks of skin bleed across my beds. Everyone curdles into perversion. A something that dances them like a rag doll, a maid, old as a weaver outskirting deserts.
Some say I bludgeon hundreds. Necks louder than a flock of plundered hens. Can’t say I map any of it. It molds towards raucous and the easy snap of the shutter. No need to ask dead bodies to still themselves. Clothes shred askew around them. Adds the mix of dollars in my pocket to the soiled beacon of the buyer’s orgasms. Slaughter, hard as acorns, is a marketplace. Sedentary remembrance of the women who scorned them.
My hotel breathes in stock of the city. Ladies temper the whiskers of war inside temperate strangers. Yawn of wives rack the brood of kids, and marriage, men leave behind. Souvenirs are just a part of the ride. Rummaging through the deck like poker cards, the men leave the hotel with their fantasy bound up in a body burdened with a peace it never knew. Branded lifeless in a sepia tone.
Meg Tuite is author of a novel-in-stories, Domestic Apparition, a short story collection, Bound By Blue, and won the Twin Antlers Collaborative Poetry award for her poetry collection, Bare Bulbs Swinging, as well as five chapbooks of short fiction, flash, and poetic prose. She teaches at Santa Fe Community College, is a senior editor at Connotation Press, an associate editor at Narrative Magazine, fiction editor here at Bending Genres Journal, and editor of eight anthologies. Her work has been published in numerous literary magazines, over fifteen anthologies, nominated nine times for the Pushcart Prize, five-time Glimmer Train finalist, placed 3rd in Bristol Prize, and Gertrude Stein award finalist. Her blog: http://megtuite.com.