Issue > Poetry
Jeremy Gregersen

Jeremy Gregersen

Jeremy Gregersen is a graduate of the MFA program at University of Michigan. His work has appeared in Poet Lore, Cimarron Review, Potomac Review, Juked, and elsewhere. He lives in Las Vegas, Nevada with his wife and son and serves as Head of School at The Meadows School, where he also teaches literature.

Blue Angel Motel: Weekly Daily Hourly


You don't bother
to look back at the street, to wonder
whether anyone

has seen you
entering your weekly room to
a prostitute's

clothes piled
already into a chair like a limp lump
of risen dough,

the shower groans
its ancient plumbing through the dense
musk of her perfume.

This, you say aloud,
will be the last time. And next time
you look back

just momentarily
at the angel's statue, thirty feet
tall, three stories

of heat-pocked,
pedestaled cobalt, magnanimous in the stare
she fixes you

with as you might meet
him again in the room next door. You feel
fleetingly the schism

between being
fixed and needing a fix. And the gear
might well fall

out of your arm,
might spill junk glinting up in shards
from the tiled grime

of bathroom floor.
And in the angel's shadow cast
through the one

cracked window,
you might cradle the phone weakly
(free local calls)

to make amends,
grovel, your voice on bloodied knees
through wet, wet

shame for what
you promised thrice you'd never do
again. You'll squint

through your fingers
at your haphazard, halfempty suitcase.
And in the night,

her concrete
colossus will watch over you,
her cracked

and milkwhite skin
opalescent in the desert night
and streetlight.

She'll teach you
to sleep again, she'll let you curl like a cat
for a moment

in the lap of an unfamiliar
and ragged bed and maybe you'll think:
Tonight, tonight

they will not
come for me. Or every hour for seven
hours you'll pick up

the pistol and test
its fit against forehead, temple;
the sour blue

of the steel
lingering on your tongue long after.
You'll turn

the greasy brass
key in the cash-only lock, watch the
high-pressure

sodium light
from Charleston leak into the room:
painting a palimpsest

in its desire
to be made over in slanting jags of glare,
in maybe

damask and crepe
de chine, in wash of bourbon or feces
or vomit

or vengeance
or rage or loss or lack or impossible joy.
Maybe this time

impossible joy.  
And when the gin is almost gone you'll try
as you do

daily to recall
the shape of her face, how it looked
as you left,

and this time it might
just come back, smiling up at the ridiculous
amazon overhead,

in her goldilocks
and her wings and Glinda-the-Good-Witch
wand and dear

lord her crown,
her grim and beneficent smirk offering
nothing so trite

as love, nothing
so hopeless as redemption, not understanding,
not that.

Poetry

Alex Miller

Alex Miller
Plums

Poetry

Terry Savoie

Terry Savoie
Spirit Bird, 1954

Poetry

Jason Barry

Jason Barry
Slate