Elevator Music

A Poem

Elevator Music

I stand in the elevator with my arms crossed,

And my head down,

Listening to whatever New-Ae classical remix of "Hotline Bling" is playing through the speakers.

I attempt to cling to the corners of this five-by-seven foot box because the man I am stuck inside with smells like cigarettes and whiskey

His arms move closer to me, and my body tries to move further away


The box becomes more crowded

And he and I have collided

I am afraid now that my neck smells like whiskey

That in whatever happens next, they will be thinking that I was drinking

Too intoxicated to say no to whatever advances the man in the elevator has to offer me

To give me

To force on me

Our bodies are forced together by the people in this elevator

And none of them say a word

None of them pay attention

Their eyes are focused on the doors ahead

On the New-Age classical remix of "Hotline Bling"


They don’t dare look behind them

No one ever looks behind them in an elevator

This man’s hands trace my leg now

And he looks at me like he hasn’t eaten in days

I attempt to place my purse between us

It is now easier for him to steal my money and harder to steal my body

This body that looks young enough to be his daughter

And small enough for him to break

This body that is wedged between corner

And purse

And cigarette

And whiskey

And skirt

And dirt under fingernails

And high heels

And lipstick

This body lost and ignored

Drowning under the sounds of cell phones beeping

And cell phones blinging

And ringing

And the footsteps of the people leaving the elevator

social commentary
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Sydney Barlow

I write things sometimes

See all posts by Sydney Barlow