by | Dec 15, 2023 | Poetry

Interior of a hotel room, including a bed and an armchair in front of a large brightly lit window.

Take the cotton balls, and the toothpicks
from their neat resting places, the rolled up
gauze, the little Poland spring bottles, the juice
boxes, and the plastic forks and knives
wrapped in cellophane like medical grade
sarcophagi, almost alive in your hands,
take the cart too, when the orderly looks away.

From the nightstand at the motel on the way home
take the broken clock radio with the time reading
three forty seven all day, and the holy book
in the top drawer, that someone’s once lively
hands might’ve leafed through. Eat all the pillow mints
chalky and flavorless though they are, tuck
the extra shampoo & conditioner bottles in one
in your overnight bag, the scratchy towel that
gives no warmth can fit in there too; take
the iron off its ironing board, and bury it inside
your own never-before-ironed clothes, and sit
on the case insisting the zippers find their
way around until they meet each other again.

Take everything you can, take indiscriminately.
You will never again have enough.

Photo by Michael Coghlan, used and adapted under CC.

About The Author


Irena Kaçi is an Albanian-American poet and writer living in Worcester, MA with her spouse and two children. Her poem “Onions” placed 3rd in the 2023 O’Hara Prize contest. Her work has appeared in the Worcester Review, Frequency‘s 2nd Volume, 41 Journal, and Worcester Magazine‘s Poet’s Corner. She is currently working on putting together her first chapbook.