poem index

The Drum Room

Fred Marchant
The door you come through slams shut before the door you go to opens.
A last stopping place, a once-over from the guard behind his tinted glass.
Your pockets are empty, wristwatch in the locker, with wallet and change. 
Two pens, a notebook, a wish to act normal, and show you threaten no one. 
It is completely true that you threaten no one. 
Nonetheless you feel either you are in danger, or that you are the danger. 
It is a retort designed not to contain, but open and shut like a valve. 
A space between entrance and egress, pressure and release. 
A moment of pure supplication, a revelation of true marrow and meaning: 
hiatus: opening, rupture, fissure, gap.
A room close to nothing, the reinforced shell of its nothing.
Who here cannot help but think of a plump fly bumping against a window?	
A fly who believes something will give. Something does.  
A buzzer, then juice through the wire, and the latches slide in, slide out.

From Looking House by Fred Marchant. Copyright © 2009 by Fred Marchant. Used by permission of Graywolf Press. All rights reserved.

Fred Marchant