The Room

The room is a body
and the body a room. And a name
is a place, a word a home. I open the door
and the room opens. Small animals
push through the brush beside a creek at night.
Their songs send thin ropes out toward the stars.
Darkness slants in through the windows
like sunlight under water, through thoughts
of the future and past. This is a place
of prayer if anywhere is,
if the big room under the dome of the Blue Mosque was
in July, fifteen years ago, in one corner
my mother singing “Strangers in the Night”
in a low voice, and my father in another
out on the boat at dawn, a six year old boy
shivering beside him. That’s where
I learned to believe the sea,
convinced at last by its dark rocking
as I lay back and looked up at the Milky Way
like a distant ceiling, lifted out
of myself, while back on shore the others
shook their heads beside a driftwood fire.

(Ken Zimmerman1986) (previously appeared in Poetry East 33)

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