Motel

By ZACK STRAIT

 

There is a dark blue bible in the nightstand, a pitcher and torch

stamped on the cover in gold. I rub this symbol

with my thumb and I am comforted, knowing another

man was in this room before me, just to

place his light here. I take a seat on the bed, the verses rustling

in my lap like dry leaves as I open to the psalm

about our bodies, how they rise in the morning, settle

on the far side of the sea. And still love

follows us. Next door, two people are moaning. I turn the page.

 

[Purchase Issue 13 here]

Zack Strait is pursuing his PhD at Florida State University. His work has recently appeared in Ploughshares

Julia PikeMotel

Related Posts

the power

August 2017 Friday Reads

The book’s central conceit is that teenage girls wake up one day with electrical powers, which spread, and suddenly women everywhere are able to kill men with a single zap. It follows four main characters—Tunde, Margot, Roxy, and Allie. The characters’ lives intersect in unexpected ways as the book charges on toward its dramatic, violent, emotionally resonant conclusion.

Knots book cover

Review: Knots

OLGA ZILBERBOURG
It felt foreordained to open this short story collection by the Norwegian writer Gunnhild Øyehaug and find IKEA on the first page, as in: “…park the car outside IKEA.” IKEA, now based in the Netherlands, originated in Sweden, but to many foreigners, it personifies Scandinavia—pleasant and unthreatening.

clam shack

Twenty Minutes at the Clam Shack

CASSIE PRUYN
I slip my hand under her blouse, which quivers/ with heartbeats, trace/ the silken blade of her collarbone/ lean down to sniff her neck./ Gulls screeching, flapping, battling/ for scraps across the Clam Shack’s pavement./ Traffic rushing beyond the chainlink./ As the