New Work

The Practical Side of Dreams

I become a hotel maid

because there will always be

a practical side to the dreamiest

of moments. It is a fancy hotel

where the rich go to sleep, shower,

shit, and fuck. I change their towels

and sheets with a ridiculous devotion.

At least one room per shift has some blood.

At least one room per shift has vomit

running alongside the base of the toilet

like the tiny-flowered trim around a garden.

But I always manage to get a lipstick,

usually Chanel and usually red.

I have a collection now and they each

have the voices of those who wore it

and most of them are angry that they lost

their lipstick, never suspecting the maid.

I am invisible here, too, but it feels good.

There is a comfort in blending

into the wallpaper and just watching

with a sluggish, bulimic heart.

© Carrie McGath, 2017