Blood on the Motel Sidewalk

In the flat January morning light
it looks like scattered coins,
each fat drop a perfect circle.
You might feel lucky walking up from afar,
eager to tally your find.
But as you bent to pick up your dark fortune
you’d stop.
Not coins, but blood, bold punctuation of disaster.
A story.
And, looking closer, each one oddly flecked
with white grains of salt.
And then you might notice the scatter
of asparagus and potatoes
—this is an odd tale—
wondering what transpired
in the fluorescent night
where, you now recall from your cottony
motel slumber,
voices outside the window
rushed but calm
calling for help, then for towels, then
a car pulling up,
and headlights dragging across the ceiling
as you rolled back over on your side
grateful for the sudden return
of quiet.

            This poem appeared in Steam Ticket, Volume 11, April 2008, under the byline S. Sajbel.

        Hear the audio version of this poem.

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