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Margaret Ross

The heat stank when you turned it on

This was the Desert Star, the Redbird
            Inn, the half-off room at the Rose
            Hotel Casino with coffee vouchers
            you could cross the sunken
            
gaming floor to redeem 

7 a.m. and people with soft collars tucked out
            over sweatshirts drinking Pepsi
            at the slot machines. Wherever you were

was the same place at the Motel 6, an
            orange bedspread. Hairs I pulled out 

would drift into loose webs
            with the others’ underneath the bed. It felt almost

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