The Room and the World
By Stephen Dunn

The room was room enough for one
or maybe two if the two had just
discovered each other and were one.
Outside of the room was the world
which had a key to the room, and knowing
a little about the world he knew
how pointless it was to change the lock.
He knew the world could enter the room
anytime it wanted, but for the present
the world was content to do its damage
elsewhere, which the television recorded.
Always, he kept in his mind the story of a man
hanging from a cliff, how the wildflowers
growing there looked lovelier than ever.
That was how he felt about his one chair
and the geometry of the hangers in his closet
and the bed that fit him like a body shirt.
Sometimes the world would breathe heavily
outside the door because it was obscene
and could not help itself. It was this
that led him eventually to love the world
for its pressure and essential sadness.
One day he just found himself opening
the door, allowing the inevitable.
The world came in and filled the room.
It seemed so familiar with everything.