Column 12

It takes real talent to spot the transcendental within the mundane, which is what Meryl Pugh does in this poem. It’s from her collection Natural Phenomena, published by Penned in the Margins

The Lift

There are no echoes, just the pulse inside your ears,
the crackle as you swallow, leaning against the rail,
catching the smell of those who’ve gone before:
perfume, something fried. Like them, you wait
for your reflection to split when you arrive.

It apes a room, you think. It is not a room. A room
would never reach inside, throw down your stomach. A room
could not go anywhere, grant anything. Stare
into the dimness in the corners. Did you really think
there were this many floors?


Used with kind permission of Meryl Pugh and Penned in the Margins.