reading list


I Am In A Room

I am in a room
with peeling paint.
I am in a room
with one window and one door.
The sun comes through the window
onto the dirty floor.
The walls are painted with shadow.
There is a chair.
A web without a spider.
I hear muffled sounds
coming from outside the room.
I don't think of the time before the room.
Or I think only of the time before the room.
Is the door locked?
If the door is locked I must stay in the room.
If the door is not locked I could leave the room.
I have tried to look out of the window
but every time I see something different.
Every time I see something differently.
The room is empty
except for the sunlight on the floor
and the cobweb and the peeling paint
and the plastic chair.
And me.
Sometimes I wish there were a mouse
(or at least a spider).
Sometimes I don't.
The world is better than this room.
This room is better than the world.
The sunlight goes but always comes again.
Or the sunlight comes but always goes again.
What matters about me
is that I am the one in the room.
If I left the room the room would be empty,
I presume (except for the gray plastic chair
and the peeling paint and the tattered web).
Whose room is it?
(There is also dust on the floor
and in the beam of light.)
Who asks whose room it is?
Who can know the answer?
Before this room there was another room.
After this room there may be another room.
(There may not.)
What are those sounds?
Sometimes they make it hard to sleep.
I don't sleep in the chair.
I have not yet sat in the chair.
I sometimes think about
whether I should sit in the chair,
about whether I want to or not.
Someday I may sit in the chair.
The things I see through the window
confuse me.
Sometimes they scare me
or make me sad.
I brought nothing with me
into the room.
If I leave
(if the door is unlocked)
I will take nothing with me.
I have my eyes
but my eyes are tired.
I have my ears
but my ears are tired
(though they hear the muffled sound
outside of the room).
I have my mouth
but it will not open.
Maybe the paint
is nothing but shadows.
Why is there only one window?
Why is there only one door?
Why am I alone in the room?
What is the sun trying to tell me?
What is the web trying to tell me?
What is the room trying to tell me?
I look at the chair
but do not sit in it.
I look at the chair
but I do not sit in it.
Sometimes I sleep.
But sometimes I don't.

All poems are written and copyrighted by Michael C. Rush.
None may be republished or repurposed without permission.