Tim Postovit


by night I dreamed I was a hotel
my last customers were tired people
I was the last place on the planet
     where astronauts slept 
my last customers were the planet’s
     last people

by now their grandchildren are deep in the starry night

then cenozoic ferns exfoliated my ceilings and floors
bunches of wild tea sprouted from my windows and doors
moss sucked off my electric circuits
and the plastic of my appliances

white as a waterlily blossom

in my heart a hotelier once toiled
she kept signing in these families with children
men and women from all over world
every night my reception shined

even days after the last ship left
     along with the hotelier 

and in one of my bathtubs a traveler drowned
her whole body tattooed 
in room 216 a student dreamed of butterflies now they’re there
one floor down carnivorous felines fear the moss
     what’s inside it 

on my roof orangutans rub their backs against the letters
     of the word hotel
they especially like e as in a sunrise
     and l as in a spaceship blasting off

on my roof a large swamp 
     and great joy preside—massive primates
trample over water-logged beams and my walls
     glitter and shake

sometimes the moss sparkles and a golden charge runs through
then the kettle shudders dancing to pieces 
the lowest bushy tufts wilt in steam
a hotel whose doors are always open 

by night I dreamed of a planet worth
     a fresh pot of tea

TIM POSTOVIT was born in Ukraine, spent his early childhood in Israel and has lived in the Czech Republic since the age of six. He studies Russian philology at Charles University in Prague. In 2019 he published his debut collection of poems, Magistrála (Highway). A poem from this book has been featured in the annual Best Czech Poetry anthology. He also performs slam poetry and holds the 2019 joint title for duo slam poetry. The poem “Hotel” comes from his 2021 collection Motýlí pavilon (The Butterfly Pavilion).

About the Translator:

STEPHAN DELBOS, a Founding Editor of B O D Y, is the first Poet Laureate of Plymouth, Massachusetts. His most recent books include Small Talk (Dos Madres, 2021), and The New American Poetry and Cold War Nationalism (Palgrave, 2021).