In the drunk’s elevator, late,
on the wall next to the floor panel:
a note reminding us to advance our clocks.
And near the top, near the pretentious
hotel letterhead: the red-hot imprint of lips.
Someone (probably a woman, and probably not
the person who drafted the message) pressed
herself to the paper, drafted her own
message, an intimate seal of approval.
Maybe she was just very grateful
for the reminder. Maybe there was no
tissue to be found and this served
as an impromptu blotter. Perhaps
she told her blind date, when he tried to mix
his whiskey breath with hers: Charlie,
I’d rather kiss this damn paper, and then did.
Not likely. And better anyway to imagine her
silent with her own unknowable thoughts
at the moment, and now in her sleep, deeper
somehow, after what she really must have done:
kiss away in peace an hour lost, let the doors close
without looking back at the compartment that now
had held us both in turns
as it descended or rose.
John Sakson is a graduate of Syracuse University’s MFA program and former editor of Salt Hill, John Sakson has taught writing at numerous colleges and universities throughout New York State. His poems have appeared in Rattle, Poet Lore, The Worcester Review, The Marlboro Review, The Sierra Nevada College Review, Pearl, and elsewhere. He now teaches and lives in Connecticut.