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Anne Sexton.

Once again it is April, the cruelest month reputedly, but in fact one of
the fairest also, the beginning of Spring (in the northern hemisphere at
least). It is also National Poetry Month here in the U.S. So as I did last
year I'm going to put up three poems, one of my own and two from actual
good poets. This is the first.

RIDING THE ELEVATOR INTO THE SKY

by

Anne Sexton

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 the 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.

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