In the Hotel Sovereign my father handed me a bucket to catch the rain streaming through cracks in the ceiling. Then he climbed into a dry crawl space with his flashlight and a book. My mother covered the food and furniture with plastic while my sisters burrowed deeper under their blankets. Puddles grew over my cuffs.

I splashed through the kitchen to rescue our pet fly, his feet stuck to the wall. The sleepless mice lit candles and waded through their caves. Uncle spider put on his galoshes tramping prints all over the walls.

Downstairs in the lobby, the clerk, sick of calls, took the phone off the hook and put up a sign “No Rooms Open,” and curled up in a hammock. The buckets overflowed. The rain never let up. My mother pulled out her knitting needle and wove beads into a curtain, as our last loaf of bread drifted toward the moon.


Luca Penne
Luca Penne works as a carpenter when he can find work, lives in New Hampshire, and has published his prose poems in various magazines including 2River View, Forge, Heroin Love Songs, Milk, and so on.