Day Two: ‘Elevator Pitch’

April 2, 2015

What your mind exploded into visions of,
as the pullcrane jammed and sludged the lift,
was flying. Air travel, the plane to Vegas
the month before, and utter claustrophobia —
but you’d beaten it! With books and tapes and seminars,
you’d slain the juggernaut of fear and brushed
your teeth in the billowing sky. Now this,
a workday calamity in three-by-six dimensions.
Your security guard pals wedged a crack between
the clasped, heavy doors, and you surged with relief,
pleased with yourself for remembering their daughter’s names
and the sports they played all those weeks ago.
But worst of all, worse than the searing panic
that prompted a loosened collar and a flung-off tie,
is the screaming emergency bell slamming
off the metal walls and depositing itself in your grey temples.
Now spectacles off and grease mechanics on the way,
your elevator pitch a different kind of self-awareness:
“Remains calm under pressure — for the most part.”
It’s the stairs from here on out, at least
the couple heaving months ahead.

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