Hotel Fantasia


             How mythic, idealized—bellhops guiding golden

luggage carts, each of the Erotes chiseled into lobby

             molding. All the framed landscapes to get lost in.

Here, there are so many rooms full of brief living. What else

             to do but live out my fantasy: our bodies as impossible

to check out of. I can’t help but consider all the ways


             this could end. Lying in bed, I hold you like I am

a filament—need quick lighting. Instead, you fold the stiff white

             sheet over the down comforter as if we were home.

My side is resistant; seems not to care to be folded

             just so. You reach over me, tuck it into the nape

of my armpit & kiss me goodnight. In the morning


             I recount sculpting Himeros, winged god of no

distinct myth, in my sleep. Leaving early, I strap

             my leather tote bag to my back—walk out

into daylight & rush hour traffic. Leaving early,

             I’m uncertain I ever arrived.

Daniel T. O'Brien is a New York native currently living in Columbus, OH. His work has recently appeared, or is forthcoming, in American Literary Review, Banango Street, BLOOM, The Boiler, Prelude, and Sequestrum. He is a recipient of the 2016 Vandewater Prize and the 2015 Helen Earnhart Harley Creative Writing Fellowship in Poetry from The Ohio State University, where he is currently an MFA candidate and serves as Poetry Editor for The Journal and Managing Editor for The Journal/OSU Press Book Prize Series. He has been a finalist for the American Literary Review Poetry Contest and the Red Hen Press Poetry Award.