Last Resort Without Reservations / martin willitts

Every hotel pillow has a secret, whether it is a gun
planted by the jealous mistress, or whispers of sharks
lounging at the poolside for teenage innocence
poured into a string bikini

every secret is a hairs-breath away from exposure,
a gun about to misfire, or a plant struggling
for water when the maid was too busy shaking down
the pillows for loose change

every gun is just a hotel without reservations, the bell
clerk bringing the wrong suitcases, waiting for a tip
like a houseplant with no aspirations to flourish,
and bullets are secrets delivered emphatically

every hotel has a rotunda for women to promenade
expensive smiles, lipsticks of secrets pouting,
high heels clicking like empty gun chambers
to the one with your name planted on it

every plant keeps secrets smothered by pillows,
smelling of gunpowder and abandoned hopes,
owning hotels of green, far as a postcard view,
the last chance to recover what is unclaimed baggage.


catch a fire prompts: pillow, hotel, secret, gun, plant


This is Martin Willitts Jr’s third appearance in tongues of the ocean. His latest collections include The Hummingbird (March Street Press, 2009), Baskets of Tomorrow (Flutter Press, 2009), and two forthcoming chapbooks: True Simplicity (Poets Wear Prada Press, 2010) and The Girl Who Sang Forth Horses (Pudding House Publications, 2010).