Expletive It and Existential There
Rhoads Stevens

It was a motel we stayed in. We knew this, even though the red sign thirty feet in the air said, "OTEL."
There was our father, who rubbed down all his dollars with anti-bacterial gel.
It was a motel because we entered our room from outdoors. If it were a hotel, then we'd enter from indoors. So, if we were to find a letter for the red sign thirty feet in the air, it would be an "M" not an "H."
There would be a bird nest in the crotch of the "M."
It was a motel room we lived in. We had so many boxes against our walls, it was as if our room was smaller than it was. We could have wallpapered over the boxes, but then we wouldn't have been able to get to our pots, our books, our plants.
There was our father, in his bed, sleeping.
It was fun to trace ourselves against the boxes we had stacked against the walls. We traced ourselves with chalk in the parking lot outside our motel room.
There was our father, who we had tried to trace as he slept. With a Sharpie pen, we got around his head and one arm before he awoke, put us back in our own bed, and left the motel room.
It was overcast outside.
There were sagging chainlink fences.
It rained and made our outlines bleeding.