The Ladder



Where this ladder lead to, I did not know.

I gripped the ladder’s frame,

cocked my head back and gazed.

The frame – like the gums of a Great White –

had broken, missing teeth.

Faded font on the first step read:


I felt your hands scale

my backside like measuring tape,

giving me a gentle shove.

Cement barricaded us;

the ladder was pinned to the wall

like a poster or surreal graffiti art.

The ladder moaned once I took my first few steps.

Droplets of water fell from above, some streamed down the gums.

Where this ladder lead to, I did not know.

The more I stopped, the more you whined.

The more I climbed,

the more the steps screeched,

the more the ladder loosened its teeth.

I sensed that the ladder’s mouth wanted to close,

detach from the wall,

and fall like a premature elevator.

Your hands continued to push me.

I wondered if you knew where this ladder would take us.

With every push, I wanted to hook your neck with my heel,

and choke you until I felt bad.

The more I stopped,

the more I could complain.

You’d then wrap your arms around my hips and sigh my name

(like this moment wasn’t awkward enough).

Hours later we reached the middle of the ladder.

The tooth began to slightly seesaw in its socket

as I took a rest. With each pause, you pushed.

My legs felt like sand bags.

You used hugs as reinforcements.

Your compliments were foreign to me.

No, my hair does not look nice.

The last thing I smell is good.

I wanted to collapse onto a mattress,

and leave you sprawled out on the floor like a rug.

We climbed for a couple more hours;

the dripping water continued,

moaning from you and the ladder harmonized.

I stopped again and glanced down at my feet.

I spread my legs apart to straighten the see-saw,

and between my shoes read: CAUTION.

The step at my eye-level read: CAUTION.

Every single step was labeled the same as the first.

The font faded the more I climbed;

the warning signs, themselves, felt useless.

Where this ladder lead to, I did not know.



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