Hotel Bible

This is the first poem I wrote after I began to lose my faith in the religion of my upbringing – Christianity.  I’m now a 7 on the Richard Dawkins scale of atheism.  (Full blown atheist!)

Hotel Bible

A jagged orange stripe
divides the heavens and the earth
over Phoenix, Arizona.
Seventeen hundred eighty two miles
is the distance from point A to point B
and somehow the key
that opens the door to room 1209
isn’t cold or hard or made of metal,
but flat and smooth and flexible.

Details matter.

They create the roads on the map of your life.

The drawer below the yellow light is empty
and though I wouldn’t have touched it,
lifted it, or read a single page
of the hotel bible,
it feels like something important is missing.

Reverently, I fill the vacancy with two books
by Stephen Dunn and close the drawer.

Later, while hanging my clothes in the closet,
I noticed it.  High.  Not inaccessible
but inconvenient
which was another detail
that must have meant something.

All I could believe when I took it down
was the red cover, its weight,
and what I felt
when I returned it to the shelf—

which was almost nothing.


DeMaris Gaunt



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