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Today's Inspiration & Writing Prompt


RIDING THE ELEVATOR INTO THE SKY

Anne Sexton, The Complete Poems 1981

As the fireman said:

Don't book a room over the fifth floor

in any hotel in New York.

They have ladders that will reach further

but no one will climb them.

As the New York Times said:

The elevator always seeks out

the floor of the fire

and automatically opens

and won't shut.

These are warnings

that you must forget

if you're climbing out of yourself.

If you're going to smash into the sky.

Many times I've gone past

the fifth floor,

cranking upward,

but only once

have I gone all the way up.

Sixtieth floor:

small plants and swans bending

into their grave.

Floor two hundred:

mountains with the patience of a cat,

silence wearing its sneakers.

Floor five hundred:

messages and letters centuries old,

birds to drink,

a kitchen of clouds.

Floor six thousand:

the stars,

skeletons on fire,

their arms singing.

And a key,

a very large key,

that opens something--

some useful door--

somewhere--

up there.

WRITING PROMPT: Describe what you would see if you took the elevator to floor six thousand.


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2016 by Julie Mariouw