Laura Madeline Wiseman
Elevator Girl Brand
After all, if a brand was not a product, it could be anything.
What corporations fear most are consumers who ask questions
|In Kyoto Station
aquarium shark failed credit cards. Prada bags scout for
flakes. Miu Miu boots stalk passersby. Jimmy Choo slingback
sandals strut and tease Fendi belts. Elevator girls stride
on the surface of polished granite. (How deep is the rock?
Has anyone actually been to the bottom?) Elevator girls
reflect in ripples beneath their Juicy Couture pumps.
take proposals. Their Monday lunch interviews include
escalator and floor plan tests. Elevator girls mount stairs
in Le MystŤre slips and stretch satin gloves. (I canít be
the only one who sees them.) They flank locked stores. They
patrol parquets of hosta and koi. Elevator girls command
dreams. They dominate lifts and floors. Fourth floor
incinerator, fifth floor sweatshops, sixth floor queue for
|An elevator girl
cocks a hat. One fists her chin. A third stoops. (Are
elevator girls more than elevator girls? Or are they less
than elevator girls?) A dozen teem in mute debate. One
assesses a Versace mini-dress dive. Five survey their image
in the flecked floor. Elevator girls fill with purchases.
They exhale bar codes.
welcome me to next seasonís fashion line
of hangers and bags. One clasps her elbow to say, yes
I blush. Wince hot. Ask her why. Her eyes answer,
to you. Elevator girls giggle at our bent heads. They
near arabesque windows, by stained glass lights, under
clocks with competing times. Then, the husbandís alarm.
(But, I donít have to work tomorrow! Itís black Friday.) I
try to return to the elevator girls dream but find only Dior
have done it. Theyíre stranded in price tags, overturned
trouser racks, and overcoats mixed with hat boxes. One tries
to mate shoes. Another counts shredded receipts in display
window glare. Elevator girls pick through the detritus of
last seasonís bag. Three elevator girls are pinned beneath
headless mannequins in red madras gowns. (Why wonít they
meet my eyes?) Elevator girls cluster around a nude wicker
bust on the floor. Where the heart would be, one presses a
Elevator Girl Brand is based on "Midnight Awakening Dream" in
White Casket by Miwa Yanagi (2004). The epigraphs are from
No Logo by Naomi Klein (Picador, 2000).
Wiseman is working on a dissertation at the University of
Nebraska, Lincoln. Her creative writing has appeared or is
forthcoming in Margie, Blackbird, and Sonora Review.
Her work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize.