They are sitting on a bench
at one end of a long room.
They are staring at a far-end door
and speculating on where it may lead.
They offer thoughts: it may lead
outdoors, to another room, to a hallway.
They are only sure of one thing:
wherever it leads is clearly elsewhere.
They cannot tell if it is locked or even,
possibly, ajar; this lighting is so terrible, who could say.
It seems so easy: walk over and see,
possibly leave this long dark room,
but someone has written
names of all their ex-lovers in Vaseline
on this polished stone floor and thus covered
the distance between here and there in hazard.
They are terrified to slip and fall
on such a surface. They aren’t getting any younger
and in this light they might
hit their head upon stone and bleed out unnoticed.
So they remain on the bench.
The room keeps getting darker.
Somehow it seems
that the room is getting longer as well.