The elevator smells like a woman I knew for a day
back when I wasn’t such a behemoth
could resist the mouth-temptations of savor and texture
it was a bar and I was under-age but no one spotted
the guilty blue light whirling around inside my skull
even when I shifted a table and broke a candle
I spent long minutes picking the red veins of wax
off my best jeans letting the boasts and jokes of my friends
part my thick hair. I didn’t notice her until she’d grabbed
my knee. She was a cashier at the Giant Food
and looking into the dimple in her chin
led me to discover a new emptiness for desire to fill.
I used to drink back then, back when it was forbidden
sweet drinks in tall glasses – I ended up buying
them for her, squandering my summer savings
all the while her hair grew looser like a broom
coming unbound and an animal smell rose
from the polyester uniform she’d trapped beneath
her suede jacket. You’re cute, she told me, which I knew
to be a lie, then she kissed my earlobe: how could I
forbid her anything as a general tingle overcame me.
I didn’t lose my virginity that night, an albatross
twisted within a leaden chain that would weigh me down
for years to come. I barely grazed her breasts
as she lay atop me on my single bed kissing the zest
of gin and ginger ale into my throat then snoring
until I emerged numb into a half-formed morning.
Today, plump and bald, I stepped unwary into the elevator,
became captured by twenty-eight floors of savage
memory, disappointment mellowed by time
though the scent was relentless and again
I tingled, snared by some succubus tiptoeing naked
over the grave of my youth and then flying away.