As Though From an Elevator
By: Stephen Rifkin - Dec 20, 2014
Minding the sudden light, I stop
For them— the wild men, their hair wild,
Faces grizzled, grey, and their flags flying,
The women, dolls on board, dour.
They ride past, wheeling on Main
In ramps of extravagant flight. All smoke.
The red light changes, I cross
In the vapid dusk
Of a dying city,
When life screams past, or to a halt,
Like a loose motorcycle
Brought up short,
I look down, from the top
Of my prospects,
So to speak—
As though from an elevator
That I take
To the top
Past the lesser stations,
Each hawking something brazen, creepy, coy—
I aim above the rest.
The cage rises like a bad meal
Had with terrible company
Where no one listens.
A huge mistake lies
Somewhere in the dark 1st floor
Of self. Among the fundamentals.
It hugs the dark, and glistens.
But I have reached
My high look-out, and perch
Above the lamp-lit city’s acute valley.
The lone headlight makes the hairpin,
Its flare glints and scours the black hills.
I watch it cut off, its descent.
I ride the dark ice for thrills.