Her Hostel Box

by Mark Parsons

A man in the next room
opens the door
and pokes his head inside—

In the next room, a man pushes open the door
and rubbernecks inside—
He opens the door, sticks his head in here, and says,

“He called. He was
running late. So he told them
he was running late.”

That’s all; the head withdraws.
The door closes, and latches in the wall.
How long this has gone on—
the pregnant waiting, the obscure and pithy bulletins—
but to what end?
Questions more than one of us ask
only himself we each one think it best not to utter out loud.
Like everybody else.

Why do none of our number make for the exit? Leave,
to pass the message on to others? At least one