The Mercer Hotel

by Mark Swanson

Here, starlings sing for their death
(and we give it to them).
We stoke our sun to burn bright
but clouds hang like rotting linen.There are no bones―nothing
that stands up and says “old,” but
it’s beginning to look like home:
cottonwoods, honey locust,
the brassy red light of the west
on fire in the eyes of a wintered witch
mawing planters root.Horse bellows have left
for Harleys and car alarms.
Trees and tall buildings prod
the red trails of dusk to move west
as time hammers the day shut
with a rusty iron nail.

Walking through the old brick
canyon along shards of broken
sidewalk, I looked for the window
where Carl Sandburg noted the stars
that circle Omaha at night,
and found it bricked shut
like a boxer’s swollen eye.

~~~~~

Author Bio
Mark Swanson is a graduate of the University of Nebraska at Omaha Writer’s Workshop… More >
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One thought on “The Mercer Hotel

  1. Eilidh Thomas says:

    Mark – you have drawn some very vivid images in this poem. My favourites are:- “clouds hang like rotting linen” / “as time hammers the day shut with a rusty iron nail” / “bricked shut like a boxer’s swollen eye” Excellent.

    Like

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