twenty fifteen

Hurry down the stairway from the third floor with us,
don’t bother getting dressed,
black silk on me and red cotton on you,
dark tights on your lover,
we three.
Greet the chipping paint of the once-white handrail stains,
your fingers stinging bright;
devote yourself to each step’s muted clang,
bare feet making love to
metal.
As our laughter flows in deep blood river rhythms,
what looks like full darkness
becomes a hallway with beams of clean light
streaming from an oval
entrance.
“Walk through the door!”
“Hold on, stop pushing!”
“Where are we?”
“Open your eyes and see!
100 yards from where we were before.”
“What? No, how can this be?”
“Not sure.”
We had been in the front room, removing all of
our clothing piece by piece;
the party outside going along fine,
with primary colors,
and steak.
Some kids ran, laughing, from the apartment next-door,
we heard them through the walls.
They must have caught the corner of our eye –
farther than they should be,
too soon.
We watched them blinking in the sun across a plot
of singing grass and dust;
from the strong hill where our building sat stunned,
we saw them with their mouths
open.
We found us worshipping the boy with glinting hair,
and the girl whose tethered curls
seemed to float right before her through the air.
The rest of them gazing,
just up.
Us three unwound from being intertwined to run,
making our way down to
the place a tiny door was neighboring
the bleak stairs, and it was
whitewashed,
like the rest of that forlorn hall. We remembered,
it used to be nailed shut,
but it beckoned us with an open face.
We whispered to ourselves,
“Go in!”
Now we see the sunlit children, silhouetted,
like birch trees on a lawn,
like faultless prey forgotten, left afraid.
Our party sits up high,
far off,
their voices and colors carried by the cold wind;
as if they are all true.
Still, you can see we’ve traveled right on through
to some elusive place,
brand new.