Ontarioabandoned places.com

Summer, 2015 / No. 35

At the noose knot of Kingston Road, a Scarborough motel

garrottes the view of the bluffs.

A ladder-teetering housekeeper has slotted black letters

into the marquee sign:

come in and stay

for the rest of your life

$29 a night

Ah, home. The good ol’ parallaxing Hav-a-Nap,

its gloaming, slouched,

half-burnt-out arrow sign and its tender hip dysplasia,

like a suburban goldendoodle.

This breed of low-rent, low-rise units is where clichéd thugs

operate at cross purposes, and flare out

in friendly fire. Marriages euphemistically “fall apart,” though

buried at sea = slung into low tide. Lying’s an art.

Ontarioabandonedplaces.com offers photographic proof

that, paradoxically, it’s wear

that keeps our homes in good repair.

The way weight strengthens our joints.

daily, weekly, hourly

rates available.

Lie with someone else’s other in the afternoon while the lake laps over beached pike.

The goal of life is, come hell or high water,

to get our wish. We never would have thrived if what

we thought was in the bag never rived.

Stevie Howell has written poetry appearing in Descant, Eighteen Bridges, Hazlitt, Maisonneuve, and the Walrus. Her first collection, [Sharps], was published in 2014. Last updated summer, 2015.