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I Live in a Large Week to Week Motel

I live in a large week to week motel
all of us in the street
or from the street
etching incoherent translucent
smoking in the day vacancies
afternoon traffic and the low roar of death
I am but a girl
and my mother is changing gender
becoming the men she knew
touching us less and less
each day she wanders farther across the parking lot
out of sight sometimes
each day the baby cries longer
she is going to give up
I want to hold her and tell her I love her
that we won’t fight or want so many things
but she is 6 rooms away down the balcony
with the door closed

Romus Simpson is a poet, cultural critic, and folklorist. His poems have appeared in Callaloo, Voices from Leimert Park, Southern California Anthology, Black Arts Quarterly, and Caffeine. He has won the Sara Henderson Hay Literary Prize, the Palabra Poetry Prize, the IBW-LA Nancy Hayes Poetry Prize, the Ann Stanford Poetry Prize (second place), and he was a 2012 PEN Center USA Emerging Voices Finalist.

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