Leaving Maryam Sorinet Hotel
“The family of Levinson, a retired FBI agent, has been anxiously waiting for news, any news, about his fate since he vanished during a business trip to Iran in March 2007.”
–Susan Candiotti, CNN National Correspondent
Exhausted, I dragged my suitcase to the curb outside the hotel.
One night. The white palace exterior.
I did not sleep; instead, I thought of home.
When I flung the taxi door open, I didn’t look the driver in the eye.
The ride to the airport would take only five minutes;
instead, the roundabout and then the pier.
The airport’s the other way,
I choked. Then I awoke
in a windowless room.
I searched my pockets—wallet and cell phone gone.
My signature on the hotel bill
the only note I left behind.
I can’t stop trembling.
I clench my jaw, my fists.
The men believe it’s a tremor and insist I must be older
—my paperwork lies. Tectonic plates slip
and collide inside my chest. I need to appear calm,
but the aftershocks give me away.
I drip sweat.
The fault ruptures.
On Thursdays in Miami I wore pink shirts--
buttoned-down, polo, I didn’t care. At first
I got funny looks, but then it caught on
and everyone in the office was a good sport.
Hope says my family, my friends, a sea of pink
with pink candles, pink flames, stand vigil
at the White House with pink signs written
with pink markers: Bring Bob Home.
I squeeze my index finger until it turns
purplish pink and hold that finger up
to my temple, a gun. Salute the ceiling.
Hail an imaginary cab. Ask for the check.
About the Author:
Cat Dixon is the author of Our End Has Brought the Spring (Finishing Line Press, 2015) and Too Heavy to Carry (Stephen F. Austin University Press, 2014). She is the managing editor of The Backwaters Press, a nonprofit press in Omaha. She teaches creative writing part-time at the University of Nebraska, Omaha, and works full-time as a church administrator. Her poetry and reviews have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies including Sugar House Review, Midwest Quarterly Review, Coe Review, Eclectica, and Mid-American Review. Visit her website here.