Literary Yard

Search for meaning

‘Never Really Liked Hotels’ and other poems

By: Richard LeDue

Photo by Jeffrey Czum on

Never Really Liked Hotels

The front desk worker wears an undertaker’s smile
and the ones who don’t smile
make me feel like someone asking
where the bathroom is at a funeral,
while the muffled conversations I try not to hear
in the hallways on the way to my room
remind me
of attic voices at the bottom of old spooky stories.

There’s also occasionally drunks outside my room,
stomping their feet
in the same fashion as clumsy poltergeist
celebrating New Year’s Eve
in the middle of a summer night,
only to disappear with an ease
I’ve never mastered,
so when I sneeze at 3 AM
I feel as if I’m murdering silence-
my face hidden under a blanket
like an insomniac ghost
haunting itself.


Another Bad Night

Sleep has become jealous of bricks
tied around ankles, turning
the dead man float into a lie.

It’s as if closed eyes aren’t heavy enough
because death is more like a feather,
descending from god knows where,

overworking a tired brain,
that remembers never learning to swim
at 2 AM, but believes it hasn’t hit bottom yet.


The Quiet Nights Have Become The Best Songs

At least now, I don’t lose at cards
on purpose (my poker face ablaze
with blushing and happy noises
no more important than crackling firewood),
just to impress the first person
who taught me how a kiss tastes
like spit, or believe silence stokes desire,
when really most lust a matchstick
eventually left floating in a toilet,
even as now,
the quiet nights have become the best songs,
letting candle flames dance
longer than we ever did.

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