by Martha Vogel
I am orange and silver, standing like a pyramid.
I am reds, blacks, yellows, and whites.
Why are the darkest dyes at the broad base?
I am smooth side railings, rough rungs.
I am lives of many sizes, shapes, and ages.
How can one ignore the siren song of the next rung?
I am the quiet click of my center pieces locking.
I am the clattering collapse leaned too far left or right.
Why are the margins so nasty and noisy?
I am lingering vapors of paint and primer.
I am myriad smells, evidence of luxury and labor.
What can connect such a deep divide?
I am the taste of old garage dust.
I am the sweetness of hope, bitter bile of despair.
Are tears only to salt the tongue, dampen the face?