This stairwell seems much narrower
than it did way back when.
Both I and it, swollen,
by time and industrial paint.
Years upon years. Layers upon layers.
The scent of it all hits me like a cinder block.
It moves into my nose and travels to my center.
It flows through my veins and floods me with memories.
Nine of my formative years in one fleeting fragrant flash.
I am feeling all of the feelings I’ve ever felt,
but none that I can touch.
None that I can hold onto.

If only I could sit here in this stairwell for a spell.
If only I could stay here for a few hours, a few days…
Perhaps with enough time,
perhaps with enough intense concentrated effort,
I could peel away at the layers, one by one,
scratch and scrape my way to the original surface,
and finally, get down to the bottom of things.


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