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Sal the elevator man
Went up and down all his life,
With bad breath and body odors,
Dandruff powdering his uniform,
Saying something poetic about the baseball game...
Seeing us daily at our best and worst.
We focused on his aim,
His balls and strikes
As he timed his joystick
To catch the exact spot of equality
Where the floors met seamlessly.
Opening the brass gates
Always brightly polished,
He might say "watch your step",
Or "have a good one",
But only if he meant it.
Sal retired to the Gulf of Mexico
To pass his years with a fishing pole
And a wrist watch for his service.


On the speckled linoleum floors
We all stood at attention,
Upgraded to pushing our buttons
As the doors opened and closed
Like wings with space age efficiency.
We nodded to each other
Avoiding any eye contact,
Happy to admire the dogs
Held tight on their leashes,
With their tongues wagging with spit,
Being told to sit, which they did,
Only to stand a moment later,
Dispassionately smelling the nearest crotch.


The elevator asks me what floor
In a sterile soprano tone-
But I prefer the heat of a finger
To light my number on the panel,
Which she repeats, applauding
My choice with gratitude.
The halogen lights turn us yellow,
As the steel walls absorbs our shadows.
Each rider wears a cellphone on his face
(Although the connection doesn’t work
In the vertical shafts of the building’s core);
All the thumbs of the young are busy
With focused intensity to post their emojis
On the latest puerile hip-hop video,
As I study the weather app
To avoid being the only one
Left staring at the fast numbers
In their digital dance above,
Sure to wear my headphones
To filter out the silence,
And the grotesqueries of that voice
Telling me to have a nice day
In the same tone it would tell me
To go to hell.

Editing stage: 


It isn't just the elevator guy, they don't
answer the phone at my doctor's office
anymore ... at all, unless you are trying
to make an appointment. They'll call
back if they think it worthy.

I could go on and on, your poem stirred
me ... thanks.

i only read up to 14 or 18 lines of poetry
but this was a real exception
it appealed my mind as sexy
even dogs smelled crotches
all we have to bear in elevators today
young ones mindlessly kissing away
of which dogs' tongue
is lapping
lovely metaphorical poetry
reply equally

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