When I go out in the garden late at night, without my glasses, the streetlights turn into snowflakes, fingerprints and veins.
“Just do what you feel like doing,”
as if it were a choice
instead of a luxury
(only a few of us could afford).
Everything about her
pissed me off that morning,
perhaps because it was easier that way.
I looked at her,
moving her hand in the wind
enjoying the force
with which it pressed against her skin.
I found myself envying her youth
how I had grown into something so old,
something so responsible,
something with such a bitter lining
and such a heavy heart.
She rode toward the sunset
in her fathers worn down car.
A breeze picked up strands of her hair
through the open window
while a cigarette burned between her lips.
He told her stories of honey and milk
as he replaced the grass with mud.
The people were gone now,
the halls were empty.
She found herself alone,
trying to picture their faces
while listening to the ticking of the clock
they had left behind.
Funny how time changed things.
She had never really liked them,
but now that they were gone,
she couldn’t do much else then miss them.
While you were out,
I read your trashy novels
and slept in your clothes.
She was standing in front of the oldest tree in their garden —holding her breath— as it was being smothered by a climbing plant.
I noticed I was daydreaming
by the time I reached the spot
where the flowers had carved
their way through the tarmac.
A couple of staples
kept my bag from falling apart
and I had buttoned my coat all wrong.
Maria always knocked on the door before turning the key, it was part of her job. When she just started working as a chambermaid she would occasionally forget to knock. She walked in on a couple having sex once and never forgot to knock after that. Room 301 was empty but the lady who stayed there had left the music on. It was piano music, Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata. Maria only listened to the songs they played on MTV, classical music was way too dramatic for her. She had taken this job because she had an endless curiosity about the lives other people were leading. She always felt other people were doing it right. They weren’t like her, stuck in some underpaid job, nursing a child without a father. The lady in 301 was one of her favourites. She was a regular and she always stayed for at least a month. She reminded Maria of a movie star from the fifties, with her red lips and her elegant dresses. They had talked only once, when there had been no answer after Maria had knocked on the door. The lady asked her to come in after Maria had apologised for disturbing her, and she did. They talked about books while Maria cleaned the room. There were always a lot of books around, books and wine and little scraps of paper. Maria replaced the sheets, they had traces of last night’s man spread out over them. Leon at the desk had told Maria ‘301’ never took the same man up to her room, they only visited her once. He called her ‘the black widow.’ After Maria cleaned the bed Moonlight Sonata started playing again. It appeared to be on repeat. Maria didn’t mind though, the drama was actually growing on her. She took the two plastic cups from the night stand, there was still a bottom of red wine in them. One of them was covered in red lipstick. She gently brushed a finger over the edge of the cup, smudging the lipstick even more. Strange how people never really disappear, they always leave some kind of trace behind. The man was left behind on the sheet, the woman was left behind on the cup. She walked up to the little bathroom, to dispose of the wine before dropping it in her plastic bag. The minute she opened the door she noticed something was off. The lights were still on and it smelled funny. When she turned her head to the right her gut twisted into a knot. The woman of room 301 was floating in the tub, her hair was long and wavy, her lips were as red as the water that surrounded her. She looked like an angel with her eyes closed. Maria did not scream, she just dropped the cup.
He was staring at her back
for some time now
and his eyes
followed the moles
that spread out before him
like the constellations.
‘It is really good,’
while handing back his sketch.
‘But you made me more beautiful
than I actually am.’