A Room on the Twenty-First Floor
by Elizabeth Hebert

    The lights of the city glitter like diamonds
    In the view from my hotel room on the twenty-first floor.
    The subway station is far away here,
    And the harmonies of the Moonlight Sonata
    Drown out remembered strains of an off-tune harmonica--
    The mourning of lips too ragged to smile.

    Sipping chilled Stolichnaya from a champagne glass,
    My mind relaxes with the memories of the day:
    An exchange of goodwill on a dirty platform
    With the harried young professional in rumpled Armani,
    The stares in our direction from the man in the corner
    Taking swigs from a brown paper bag.

    When I look out, standing beside brocade curtains,
    At the crown of jewels the horizon is wearing--
    The lights that flicker like diamonds in the distance,
    The cars like rubies passing in parade below--
    I cannot help but think how beautiful the city is
    Just from my room on the twenty-first floor.

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