Elegy for the Last Hotel in America

by Keith Montesano

Mooresville, North Carolina


You must be hungry. In fact, you must be starving.
Here, in this room, someone once told you of the sea,

the abundance of sand. Someone once told you
of the world outside, until you cut your palms

repairing glass that could not be repaired.
Before, you claimed its rooms, kicked its doors

off hinges. Now the nights are blank, unremembered,
unfulfilled. But at first you loved, you lived

between daylight and nightfall, laughed
first at stories, at the rain whipping in,

the End in fire, bulldozers, wrecking balls.
And now you’re still here, cradled like children

in this last hotel: the gears whining, ignited,
flames lashing through the paper-thin walls.