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Tourist Hotels
by K. A. Laity

Trays laden with cups, with glasses
All alike save for a chip here and there.
The murmur of languages susurrates
Between the cracked yellow walls.

The tea is dark as you like it;
Others wince, lift the sugar, pour the milk—
It's never cream.
"Black and bitter, like my heart!"
You always joke,
But you've discovered it resembles
More closely the soft rolls you disdain,
Almost certain they will be stale.

We inhale the dust on the table's orchids
As we inhale our full English,
Carrying it with us when we leave,
As if the hotel, too, wished to travel
Visiting distant lands
From the safety of our noses.