It’s been aeons since we met in lanes
to admire each other’s stamens
or even stood side-by-side in a stairwell,
so forgive me if I blink-blush
here under the harsh LEDs.
How would I describe the Distant Days?
A motel menu offering only omelets.
A stack of dusty drop cloths in a stalled moving van.
Now, as we file in for our first journey
together, even this choice of fourteen floors
floors me. I could write a novel
about the elevator’s control panel.
At each stop, the door opens onto
another shocked anemone face.
We’re still standoffish as thistles,
but we try on pseudo-smiles. I unfurl
my fist into five frightened fingers.
Apparently, we’re all going up.
No one presses emergency.
No one presses stop.