In the Hotel Lobby, 11:58 A.M. to Noon

In the pursuit of
in the underlying light of

something that swings over
oppressing us

in the wake of endless light
I breathe the burden in

it falls like snow
a German couple in the corner

speaks of whose turn it is
to talk if there is anything

they could believe it’s a little
scary he says and she

says it’s nothing I can talk
about Is she depressed

the woman says in English
I don’t know the man replies

snow that was locked inside me
starts falling hastily without

windows blank out completely
the man and woman talk

in shadow in the singed
white light could be

in an airport waiting for
the last flight out or looking

straight ahead invisible
when they get up I feel

a shadow in myself
has lifted only two white

windows two tan leather-

backed chairs the radiator’s
hundred sets of eyes

facing forward human-sized
lamp leaning slightly

to the side the pace of life
has slowed and started

to look at itself a small
boy is running to the window

with his brother climbing
up on the left-hand chair onto

the window whole body
facing glass exclaiming snow

Let’s go his father says
pulling him backwards they

leave the two white
windows open again one

second later saying nothing
I get up and go

—Rebecca Givens Rolland, Boston, MA