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Glass Stairwells

September 17, 2012

by Sarah J. Sloat

At night when the office workers turn home, the city fills with empty stairwells lit up from inside. Not a soul stirs — no mailman, no fugitive animal, not a person alive.

The layout of lighting keeps the illumination even. No draft moves the plants, the purposeless furniture.

One wonders who’s behind this display, a waste of tile and electricity and even of watching, each floor the stage of an abandoned play. The stairwells extrapolate their nothingness upwards: floors one to 22 or 53, unchanging and sore with unabsorbed light.

Stairwell railings loom, uninterrupted, like the shadows of sundials in a landscape where there is no sun.


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Sarah J. Sloat lives in Germany, where she works in news. Her poems have appeared in Barn Owl Review, DMQ, Bateau and Fraglit, and her chapbook Homebodies has just come out from by Hyacinth Girl Press.

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  1. Deb
    September 18, 2012 at 9:09 am

    I’ve wondered about this, too; your version/vision is compelling.

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