The term "holed up" probably fits
except I'm on the 11th floor, not underground,
and I've got the window to prove it.
The view isn't much though. Okay, understatement.
It's of a brick wall two feet away.
If the elevator has been lying all this time, actually taking me down
eleven floors, could I even tell?

That's why no one visits. They're going to the other 11th floor,
above the ground. Probably knocking on some old Korean lady's door
and feeling lost whenever she answers.
So I'm left alone, buried in this new apartment
with just my things and my own company.

The tower of books nestled in the corner
has shuffled itself over the months
into a state of demented, delicate equilibrium.
A gnarled, crooked spinal column, bare and exposed.
A bookshelf would be too expensive, too...
too ordered, too regimented, too un-organic,
and I wanted to see how long they could hang that way in the air, in that impossible cluster.

I'm garbage at Jenga, so that pile is off-limits.
That's okay though, I've got a thousand-pager out here.
I turn to the next page and find the top corner has been folded down.
The book has probably been closed for a decade, and
the weight of slow years has creased the dog-ear, convinced it that "bent" equals "normal".
That page corner can't remember ever being straight.
I slip a finger under the edge and fold it back up,
then shut the book, hoping I did the right thing.

If I was this lonely on the real 11th floor,
I'd call somebody to Jenga me down.
But I'm down here in a place that isn't supposed to exist,
and if everything comes apart crashing,
it won't help my situation in the least.
Plus, my books would fall over and make a mess.

For the masque.

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