SPOTLIGHT: Midnight at Hotel Eklund by Scott Laudati

A Place For Everyone

Do you remember the first time?
I went to the place where
all the lost wishes go that lovers
make on stars
but never hit their mark.
A place beyond the sun
that died long before
the first man
loved the first woman.
And if time traveled as fast
as youth
as loss
as regret
we wouldn’t have to spend
so much of it looking back.
We could stand on each other
like a pyramid of hearts –
one beating love that
could never break –
or a hive that moves
the stragglers along
so no one is left.
Because that blue that we stare at
that turns into black
has been there for years
and switches like the channels
on a television set.
So don’t worry,
I won’t bury you when you’re gone.
I’ll climb the mountain and lie down
on the rocks.
I’ll stare up at the space beyond the sun,
that place they say no one has been
but we both know they’re wrong.
Every smile, every tree
has some remnant of a God.
And we know that place
they come from
belongs to everyone.

Wait For It

There’s not a high enough hill on earth to stand on and scream for God. I can see you. Above the trees. A long blue sky with big fleece clouds. Pointing your finger straight up. Demanding first salvation, then a few dollars, and finally, just acknowledgment. But He never shows. How can that surprise you? You were never able to get us on the ground to stop laughing at you. You think God is going to turn the television down?

We’re Halfway There

They promised me it was over
but it never ended
it just got worse.
And the shifts grew longer
and the aliens flew away
and the U-boats swam home
and nothing good ever happened.
The chickens got fat
and America dropped the blinds on the nightmare
plaguing everyone
who never made it off the sacred rock.
The one all great-greats sailed here from
when the sun still set
on another empire.
And the lucky ones learned
you don’t look back
when it’s all on the line,
you buy a Happy Meal
and drive to death
in a 99’ Toyota Camry
while singing the chorus of
Livin’ On A Prayer.

Fun Time America

Fascism came to America
in every cheeseburger
served at my parents’ barbecue,
swallowed by the fat mouths
of ugly kids
and men in Mets t-shirts
and hats that said “Life Is Good” or
“Blue Lives Matter.”
And they all bragged about
World War II while the flame flickered out
and no one could explain to them
that the enemy hadn’t even
knocked at their door this time,
it was already in their bed.
And they all showed up on Main Street
to salute the parade that July
because they knew the flag
only flew for them now,
and the rest of us
were just guests
long ago

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