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Spiral Staircase of the Old Hotel

A poem by David Jalajel

It breathes, this staircase, when a breeze ruffles
its latticework. It spins lightheaded

from terrace to terrace, not tenable for walking on,
but displayed for the sheer spectacle

it creates, for the roving eye it entices upwards
with all its interlacing steps. There are ages

of history written into its wrought iron --
its smelting in some smoky Victorian forge,

its polishing by perfumed hands and the sweaty palms
of over-eager lodgers, odours of scandal reeking

like whiskey from its dust, the fall to the death
of one fine lady descending in haste to her lover,

who dared with glamorous intent to glide upon
its shivering bones when a breeze called from below.

Copyright © David Jalajel, 2006.