Elevator Music

Atmosphere, paper collage, 2021

i.

i’ll be the first to tell you:
the effects of gravity 
on these empty pages is questionable

as if walking in 
the shadow of a goldfinch

i look back and realize i’ve written the words,
“not duplicating reality, but making it more intense”

and i laugh, remembering that yesterday is 
no more than a subconscious yearning for paradise

and nothing less. remember that, too

as you wipe the pollens of existence 
from your grieving eyelids

that the longest distance between planets was once 
measured in shoelaces

(i wouldn’t joke about a thing like that.)

the tragedy of isolation is
it comes too soon

ii.

in this state of apparent lightness i
have no control

as if the sky was forged from angry buckets
and i was on a back road watching it bloom

my body is the weight of an empty carousel
the Milky Way’s a staircase

i take comfort in the anticipation of strangers
is that peculiar?

my hands, delicate as pinwheels,
scrape remnants of fuchsia 
from pinned-up hair

iii.

and for a moment, i am unbound by 
my beliefs in atmosphere

the avenue has wings

the strangers in the garden are an afterthought
where clouds go, after the stars have made their beds

but above all, a bitter orange street sign
the chance of a weather report
and the faintest hint of 
unnatural light

13 thoughts on “Elevator Music

  1. I was very excited to see your title!
    Of course, your poem did not disappoint.

    Love this~

    “that the longest distance between planets was once
    measured in shoelaces

    (i wouldn’t joke about a thing like that.)”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Really good write…I love “that the longest distance between planets was once measured in shoelaces
    (i wouldn’t joke about a thing like that.) tragedy of isolation is it comes too soon”…such truth, which gives comfort as well as saddening loss. And “i take comfort in the anticipation of strangers
    is that peculiar? my hands, delicate as pinwheels, scrape remnants of fuchsia from pinned-up hair” is so my favorite :)…I love when I can see myself in your poetry…I love flowers in my hair, somehow a reminder of the scent and delicacy and beauty of life. And it is so comforting to me the possibility of coming across a stranger and sharing in a moment that is so brief yet so soothing. Yes, my friend, well done.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you very much. I’m happy these lines resonated. I love the feeling of flowers in my hair and beneath my fingers, too. I think brief, yet soothing, is a perfect way to describe it. A kind of momentary elevation.

      Liked by 1 person

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