Room 302

By N Nguyen


Six feet apart,

person from person—

I can’t say I know how to see that.

A six foot person is tall, but

I can’t see

six feet wide. Still, it don’t matter.


Stuck in my home, the safest

place to be, but the people

within become the unknown.


Absent father makes sure

I always wash my hands,

hardest workin’ mama cocooned

in bed. The scariest stranger

is the one I see in the mirror.


I don’t know him.

He’s spent so many years as

the watcher, yet now he reaches out

his hand to a person— a person!

We don’t touch people, not now

not ever.


I don’t know him.

He loves someone. He does not love someone.

He loves them He loves them He loves them H

He does not. We don’t. We don’t love people.

We don’t yearn for them, we’ve never

known their touch, we’ve never known

warmth, they’re all fake.


I don’t know him.

He’s looking for something he’s never had

like Eve to the apple, the apple that’s

six feet away.


We won’t get anything from a caress,

a hug, a kiss, an ‘I love you’, so

stop trying.

Stop looking that way. Stop.


I don’t know him.

He hears the siren’s call through the wall.

His fingers bleed as he claws

through, getting lost in the abyss

like I knew he would. He won’t

call them—

he won’t.


I don’t know him.

He’s flung himself across the gulf

despite never trying

so before. Why now? Why at all?

In my room, the safest place of all

because it is mine, there’s a monster

invading. He’s grasped onto me

and made me unrecognizable.

That stranger is hugging someone

so tightly he might crush them,

relieved tears making dark spots

on the siren’s shirt.


I don’t know him.

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