Sometimes I suspect I am nothing but a hotel.
My mother stays in my lips.
My father sleeps in my eyes.
My last lover stumbles around
With my flowery bathrobe flung on.

Yes, there are guests lurking
In every floor of this high rise,
Even the uninvited ones.
My ex-husband twists around my intestines.
His mother scratches at my throat
Like a cat clawing me down.

Last spring, I bought a NO VACANCY sign
And shut the doors.
I started to wash the windows
And vacuum the floors,
But the guests kept roaming around.
Their dirty feet kept
Wandering through my mind,
One at a time.


Liz Bruno is a doctoral candidate in English at the University of Oregon and a graduate of Yale Divinity School.  Her work has appeared in The Atlantic, ISLE, Roast Magazine, and Montana Magazine and is forthcoming in The Coachella Review and the Cape Rock.