On the pop-up ad for
romantic winter retreats,
I click “No thanks, I’ll stick to
my boring motel” because

one time the zipper of my parka
got stuck at my sternum,
and I was one moment cozy,
the next panicked, drowning
in nylon fiberfill, which
reminded me of a man

I once loved—a man who wouldn’t,
on a beautiful night, open
the windows while we slept.
I’d wake past midnight suffocating
in the air-conditioned comfort

of his bed. So what if he rocked
a Ralph Lauren suit
like nobody’s business?
I had to breathe.

Maybe I’m that woman
who wanted a fat man just for the winter.
She said she’d feed him biscuits and
thick cut bacon all season
if he’d only keep the bed warm.
But she didn’t have any luck—
every man who wanted her,
wanted her year-round.

What is this urge
that makes us hold on
so tight? Even loose

and a tiny bit drunk
on a hot rum toddy, there’s no way
either of us can split
a biscuit perfectly. But
if you, honey-shucks,
will slather butter
on my slender half,
have what you will.

Take me, darling,
to the Ho Hum Motel.
We’ll have so much fun
they’ll rename the place
when we’re gone.



Kory Wells is the inaugural poet laureate of the city of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, where she founded and co-curates a local reading series and open mic. Her work appears or is forthcoming in Apiary, The James Dickey Review, Helen, and Stirring. She is the author of Heaven Was The Moon, a chapbook from March Street Press.




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