Night Coffee (8)

down the ill-lit hall someone watches television in a realm exuding cigarette smoke and laughter. in this reality they still use metal keys, dead bolts and chains. the high-tone girl who tends the cleaning cart is exceptionally feline—eyes straight out of an Egyptian tomb. outside, the wind-driven branch of a ficus scratches its way into memory. windows rattle beneath black-out shades, the kind that went out with gingham oil cloth. inside, they’re flanked by dingy abbreviated lavender drapes. inside, there’s a Murphy bed that beckons like a siren. inside, there’s a wall calendar on which every day is Saturday, every month April. there’s a drip-drip-drip that hangs at the edge of consciousness. the thermostat is spastic. under the Colt automatic, there’s a dresser with one broken drawer. the clock no longer functions. the radio is a thing of hotels past. the ceramic ashtray on the nightstand offers up a blank glossy red matchbook. the Devil behind the bathroom door promises Heaven

no chicory, please