Desi Arnaz Western Hills Hotel, Palm Springs, for Open Link Night

Desi Arnaz Western Hills Hotel, Palm Springs 

Phyllis poses on the diving board, arms out
in front of her, stiff as if she’s frozen there,
a zombie in a black bathing suit. Awful.

I should have been the one; I could have
given it a real sense of motion. My parents keep
my medals in the cedar chest they’re saving

for if I ever get married someday. But I
filled out the yellow bathing suit better;
the good thing about that is, I am in

the foreground. I’ll be the one you notice first,
on my chaise by the pool, as Phyllis and I,
Donna, and the rest—I feel sorry for some,

the girls whose heads will be dots in my
background—spin on a rack in the lobby,
by the cigarettes, next year and the next.



For Open Link Night, at dVerse Poets. Also, take a minute to see if you can figure out, generally, what I’m talking about … and then click here and see how close you think I got. (And many thanks to Kitchen Retro for giving me something to write about today.)


16 thoughts on “Desi Arnaz Western Hills Hotel, Palm Springs, for Open Link Night

  1. i def got the time period and that it was at the pool…the girls spinning on the rack made me think of two things…first pin up girls…and feeling for them in having or desiring to make that choice…but the other similar was girls that end up selling themselves short…

  2. Anna is right… at first I was thinking who is this person speaking? You nailed it… I was in her head for a moment and it was kind of creepy and yet…. delightful…

    • Thank you, Serena! I wanted to resist overexplaining everything, like we really were inside the model’s head and there were things we already knew (even though we really don’t). The creepiness, I felt, too — like, who knows how long this postcard was in use, and it’s still available for us to look at, and this model might be somewhere still … and yet this moment is gone forever.

  3. I like the oscillation here between fierce teenage aspiration and gloomy fatalism. You bring over that post-war sense of adolescent entitlement mixed with premature knowingness so well.

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