Annie Brechin

The Ghost Hotel

I walk with my skin open in the hotel for ghosts.
They are here because they had secrets.  I will have none.
They are always opening and closing the doors,
a constant latching behind my back.  If I laugh
it’s because I thought the word ‘liminal’.
I think cruelly. To admit otherwise would risk a lie.

The body can be a bed, or a blank canvas,
or a back bared for whipping.
It is important to describe accurately the colour
and viscosity of blood.  In the ghost hotel
these transactions are no longer complex.
They take place simultaneously in every room.
Once I had the surgery to remove my eyelids
I felt a lot more comfortable.

At the entrance I have planted the dark tree, the dam kor.
If you ask me I will speak.  But if you don’t I won’t.
I work in the ghost hotel because they don’t bother me,
the living or the dead.  Their snickering of lace curtains.
I have come to accept I will never see them.
I hold out my hand.  I give them the keys.




Annie Brechin has been published in The Wolf, Stand, Magma, Rising, B O D Y, Paris Lit Up and others. In 2003 she was awarded a Jerwood/Arvon Young Poets Apprenticeship. Former Poetry Editor for The Prague Revue, she moved from Paris to Dubai this year.

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