The Last Floor

When someone passes away,
the first year or so memories pass in and out in circles
similar to a group of small planets orbiting the sun
connected somehow within the universe but never quite touching.
After a few years pass, the name may be mentioned
and the memory comes to mind as a single entity
the same one always appearing first,
flashing quickly in a pungent glance.
For my grandfather, it’s the first time I noticed his beautiful, repetitive habit
of speaking to anyone who entered an elevator
never phased by the response or lack thereof.
And with such ease and style were the words conveyed
“How are you today, Sir? Glad to hear it.”
that this narrow elevator itself transformed
became a universe of human planets connected for a moment as a single entity
at it’s center, a curious child grinning at the stars.
I consider always how fitting that this is the memory appearing first
and what perfection to enter an elevator
and with every person receive a new memory.
Today, for example, a petite, middle-aged man in navy blues pants reminded me of the time my grandfather showed me how to gut a fish
before leaving at the fourth floor.
Last week, a young lady with blond bangs and gleaming red finger nails reminded me of the time my grandfather took me for Mexican in the East Village
before leaving at the sixth floor.
Yesterday, a young boy with overalls and tan curls reminded me of how my oldest met my grandfather many years ago
held his hand in what would be his last bed
before he left at the last floor.


6 thoughts on “The Last Floor

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