Written by Jennifer Wise

 

This room is stale.
The blinds are down.
The air conditioner is the only sound.
I sit in the same spot

On the couch
For most of each day;
I can’t remember the last time
I ran from a bee

Or saw trees in the wind,
Moving newly each time,
Bustling upward, and rustling out squirrels.
I can’t imagine

It’s that different now.
How long until I hear a bird during the day?
Or see a bat at twilight?
I didn’t choose this.

Who wants to panic in the pasta aisle
At a grocery store?
What do I say to a stranger?
What are the appropriate topics

For small talk?
I forgot how difficult it was to be a person.
I’ve slid the metal doors;
They keep me in. All by myself,

I let my hinges loosen
And stare at the same shelf,
And think the same things
I’ve thought all month.

The pool isn’t large,
And the hand is exacting:
That corner is identical to when I looked over there
At six pm;

And how lovely—
That song is screaming
At my eardrums again.
I recognize,

And have thought about
Every object in this room.
There is no longer a way
To surprise me.

 

Text © Jennifer Wise

 

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