January 2005 / Volume VI / Issue I
Aubrey Wrenn

Ladders; Attempt D

The ladder is rusted
The metallic rungs bruise my hands
my hands were never pretty in the first place

My legs shake through it all
They still hurt now a day later
Death is simple 75 feet off the ground
Breathing heavy, I press on
At this point I'm too high to turn back
I persist and sit on the landing, still shaking

Deep inside, I am not alone
I think my companionship to be some sort of God send
Isolation must be unnerving
When falling to you death is nearly guaranteed, why go alone?

We talked, being that it’s the only thing to do
Chain smoking enhanced the conversation
She insists that every cigarette be put completely out
She thinks we’ll burn everything down
She’s no fire starter
She wants to be me for a day, wishing that she too could see the world through rosy colored glasses
I persist, explaining that I’m much to vulnerable for my own good
I explain how jealous I am of her disconcern for others
I am, once again, a lamb
She told me she didn’t love him yet, but she probably could
She makes me whisper so that he can’t hear us
I think he’s singing to himself, yet he still seems so far away
I hate myself for encouraging her, but its the only appropriate thing to do
I tell her she’s gotta fuck on the catwalk
I would
At this point the bird shit isn’t even a concern, we’re wrapped in conversation that shouldn’t stop
She never frightens me, but everyone else does
It becomes an obvious point as we’re told we have to leave

Looking out at this waste city almost no one moves
I am alone to realize my agony

The climb down is much worse
By now death is no longer the fear
I fear what is down on the ground
Nothing can touch you 75 feet in the air