Travelers Welcome

Travelers Welcome

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Winter Tourist

by David Chorlton

The bars are open and every sand grain
on the beach is sparkling
in January light. Across the hotel courtyard
are yellow sunshades placed
beside the tables, blue towels on
the plastic chairs around the pool
and from the room a view of the Atlantic
at sunset, just before the evening buffet.
It is not enough. Even with an olive
in the cocktail and an avenue
lined with palm trees, it is too little
for someone who has spent a lifetime
preparing for this. Beneath all skies
he imagined the one now above him.
In every job he worked he promised
he’d make up for being used. He’d escape
the cities too, in which he lived, escape
and leave them far behind
without packing a coat in his suitcase.
When he arrived, nobody
was waiting to meet him. It is
an industry here to cater
to his every wish, but he is lost
with nothing to resist
as he walks to the shore in the winter
he carried with him always,
his hands in his pockets, his pockets
lined with ice.

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