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Viscous Verses: A Man Enters a Room and Leaves

By Art and Letters - Ben Mazur & Raquel Balboni for Boston Compass (#130)

December 31, 2020

A Man Enters a Room and Leaves

A man says open the fucking door. A man enters

a room and leaves. A second man enters, staggers,

spilling a whiskey, and opens the door for another. He

enters too, stays a while and puts a cigarette out on

the couch. a drunk slip. They leave, swinging open

the door, which well-oiled, stays ajar in quiet

and minute


The door stays that way. And no one enters again

that night. And you are the door, you know it! You

swear you aren’t though. That the door isn’t. You swear

the door can shut and close at will. That you have people

over all the time. That you love the people you have

over. They are the door! They swing in and out, dancing!

We dance with the door all night. We don’t want to pay

much mind

to the door.

A woman shuts all the doors in her house. She locks each one

and never forgets. She remembers them dancing

and hides. She forgets the mens’ faces that had touched them.

She eats what is left in the fridge and waits.

She unlocks the door for that. She parts the door.

And takes a bite

for that.

Jenna Richard (she/her) is a queer poet, fashion designer and plant-based chef from Peabody, Massachusetts.


Viscous Verses is edited by Raquel Balboni & Ben Mazer

Check out all the art and columns of December's Boston Compass at


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