by Jo McDougall
I want the ring of its iron steps,
ten or eight of them, under my feet—
the paint banished,
the banister not quite secure,
the city stuttering around me
like a homeless wind.
I want to hurry up those steps again,
through the double oak dark doors
tall and heavy as God,
want to enter the rooms greeting me like strangers—
aloof, always on the verge of leaving,
shrugging into their polite coats.