“Hotel Finality” by Dana Curtis

Pool ladder at the bottom of an empty swimming pool.
Dry Winter, Natalie Christensen

The vacancy sign outside the hotel seems
to indicate something far more than
an available room, but rather a profound
emptiness impossible to ever fill. Meanwhile,
the streets shimmer with wet color like
some noir world vision straight from
desolate thought and all the unknown
recesses of nostalgia. The icy drizzle
moves down the street while someone
pounds veal in the next room, and the
worn carpet mirrors the corridor. The stairway
door is propped open to reveal a chasm
to the basement. Flicker of television
light and a cracked window hold hands
with a frozen intensity. Yes, I am here.
This might be the line’s final stop, or
this might be the only shelter left
anywhere, and it is all so empty,
so beautifully empty.


Dana Curtis has published three full-length collections of poetry: Wave Particle Duality (blazeVOX Books, 2017), Camera Stellata (CW Books), and The Body’s Response to Famine, which won the Pavement Saw Press Transcontinental Poetry Prize. Her work has appeared in Ploughshares, Hotel Amerika, Indiana Review, Colorado Review, and Prairie Schooner. She has received grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board and the McKnight Foundation. She is the editor-in-chief of Elixir Press and lives in Denver, Colorado.

Award-winning photographer Natalie Christensen focuses on ordinary settings, seeking the sublime. She deconstructs to color fields, geometry and shadow. Christensen has exhibited in U.S. and international venues. She was a UAE Embassy culture tour delegate, an Artist-in-Residence at Chateau d’Orquevaux, France, and Setanta Books, London, published 007 – Natalie Christensen. She has work in permanent collections and her photography has been featured in many noted fine art publications.