"I thought you died alone a long, long time ago."
-- from "The Man Who Sold the World," Nirvana, Unplugged
He comes as he is, comfortable
in T-shirt and frayed jeans, mismatched
with the tourists wearing His & Hers
tracksuits trimmed in aqua-marine,
or the sequined almost-bare teens.
Glances, askance. His hand to his
two-day-old stubble. Whispered mutters.
He's been spotted, he knows. Above him,
a disco ball lamp patterns the floor.
The lady at Reception checks his
reservation. He prefers to take
the stairs, stares his gazely stare as he
passes his reflection -- different shirt,
same hair -- on the third floor, descending.
He glimpses another exiting
the emergency door, beyond which
Elvises swirl, the backs of them
leaving the building.
Ellen Kombiyil is a native of Syracuse, New York and a graduate of the University of Chicago. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Beloit Poetry Journal, Cider Press Review, Cordite Poetry Review, Poemeleon and Spillway, among others. She is currently working on the manuscript for her first book. She lives in India with her husband and two children.