Sunlit stairwell.
He says the words over and over to himself
until they almost lose their meaning,
but then he remembers to breathe
as he sits looking at the glass:
four columns of twenty-two squares
of sun and sand and sweetness.
The symbolism of the place
fails to escape him,
but he does not
fail to ignore it.

Sure, people walk up and down it
frequently enough,
some of them stepping right through him
without a teaspoon of hesitation.
He does not wonder
whether or not they appreciate the light,
the warmth of the place,
just as they do not wonder who he is.

When he can't hear any footsteps,
sometimes he likes to squint his eyes
and look at the glass:
four columns of twenty-two squares
of sun and smiles and symbolism,
all running together into one big pane.

Squinting a little harder,
he sees a doorknob
and reaches out his hand.