Bellingham, WA

The neon glow of the motel sign
Hidden behind the soiled rain spots on the window
Staring for hours into my own dirty reflection
925 miles away
The 801
The land of Brigham Young
The land of sun

Empty street — Saturday night
Folks hidden from the rain outside
Record shop mission
Five coveted discs
Shopped & hunted for them since St. Louis on Route 66

I lose myself for an hour
Jungle stacks of plastic sleeves
Cover art and smudged punk rock zines

Success
I retire back to my hotel room
My hiding place from the gloom
I’m just like everyone else here
Hiding myself until its clear

A drizzling night of melody
Of music and bad calligraphy

The next day I take myself away
The I-5 to the 542
General Washington’s head on every sign we pass
Always lost but never stressed

Shuksan displays her apron like a kitchen cook
Brilliant brains hidden behind a thick milkshake look
Green hairy tarantula branches reaching
Building tunnels above us between the trees
Green and white mix together
A hybrid season of confusion
The river below the guardrail
Cloudy blue and beautiful

Round trip

Now I’m spending the night with PJ Harvey
She’s serenading me “Oh my lover, don’t you know it’s alright.”
We’re hiding away from the rain
Tonight her hollow voice of hurt
Comforting and bold
Leave the carpeted cave of pastel yellow sheets and khaki walls
Run from cabin fever in a hunt for culture
A mini skirt native directs me to the Russian dumpling shop
Where I finish off the night in bliss of savory foreign food and thought

— J.M.

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