by Paul Handley
The elevator in my building
is a magician’s chest.
As the cape doors block me
off from the audience,
I face forward and don’t
make eye contact, so focused am I
on returning the same person upon exit,
which hasn’t happened yet. I am little
threat to the sorcerer’s powers of transformation.
I feel the camera scoping me,
waiting for a weakness to wink at
the security guard, balefully regarding my
intentions to injure his building,
such as punching a floor button with enough
precision and force to chip out a chunk,
creating a mutant souvenir of this
monument to the hotel occupying the bottom 10 floors.
Its logo glimmers across the city.
Work mode lassos me as I leave
the elevator. I shed frivolity,
clipping the back of my left ankle as it drops,
and the stench of originality drips
from an elbow as I open the door, to a cubicle maze.
I see the wand waved with a flourish
of ta-da and mockery, then yanked
with theatrical speed back into the elevator.