A Short Story of Lofty Longing

I’m rising to the twelfth floor on a slow
dangle when it stops on three
and what can I do?

I sigh and snap watchward glances,
but in elevators and buses you go where
and whenever you’re taken, so I dangle and wait.
And the elevator door-wings slide wide

on an angel, a young creature who stoops through
from nowhere and I find I’m presuming
she will touch thirteen or fourteen,
any node or nodule above my destiny,

expecting nothing lower, not thinking anymore
about being late but only of her being a higher
form of animal, which she is, obviously,
from the way she patiently does not

notice me or my ogle or desire to loft
that elevator to the stars with her,
though from the moment the door kisses shut
behind her and she turns to touch a button

that is not high enough for me or time enough
for anything, there is only the intimate whisper
and bump of that car lifting through eons
of the brief eternity she stands waiting

for the door to slide open again onto a corridor
I’ve never roamed and rooms that would daunt me
now if ever I peered in knowing
that at any moment I might turn a corner

where she’d be unbending from the water fountain
wiping cool moisture with her wrist from those lips
or shrugging from a rosewood doorway where
someone who knows her too well has causally

gone back to his daybook from the realm of her voice,
her gray eyes passing me over as if I were glass.
And for two floors I live with how pointless
being lifted toward appointments can be.

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