Tiny Soaps from Hotels

so you don’t forget
where they came from,
you keep tiny soaps
from distant hotels.

long after your trip,
you pluck paper scabs
off a moist, sticky bar:
it smells like the room

where you lay in bed
late at night, at peace
because the furniture
was perfect and clean.

the guest beside you was
also perfect and clean,
because you weren’t
in the future yet.

curtains were open and the sky
blacker than predicted.
windows were too
reflective to see stars,

but you saw the reflection of
your room by the sea,
its furniture translucent in the glass
like ghosts of furniture.

the shapes and shades of that
reflection were part of another
world you could live in,
but to get there you had

to leap through the glass and
there were no guarantees you’d
make it. you fell asleep
to infomercials, waking up

as many times as flights
passed subtly overhead.
the guest next to you seemed
to matter, but that was then.

years later, all that really matters
is the scent of the tiny soap,
and how it reminds you of a place
you rested before the truth began.