Justin Chen

Self Portrait as a Door

Door is locked.
Open, never shut, but locked.
Anyone can go through Door
          go inside,
          go through,
          go nowhere.
The door goes nowhere.
There’s no inside, only outside.
But,
          what is outside?
Seas, outside there are seas
          of meanings, of thoughts, of words
Door sees nothing, sees deserts
          desolate and dull
Grains scatter against the wind
Grains of people ride along the waves
          without but a pulse
At least, not in Door’s view
After all, the door is locked.
No one inside
Not in the marrow; Door’s core, principle being
          is too ambiguous for locks on a simple door
Maybe if there wasn’t such a dumpster
          piling from the remains of Door’s decorations, personas
That keeps distance, keeps Door far away.
Everyone can see that
          Door is shut closed, locked inside.
They can’t look closely and see…
Anyone will be given the keys
          if they reach out and knock twice.


Class for the Anxious

Yet again
It is to venture the nightmare land
Time, I sit here
To others,
Inconspicuous, quiet
Voices ring through air
Too loud with the others
For what?
I am here, I who does not belong
With me or me or me, they
Aren’t creatures to associate with.
Minutes burn over the room.
I do not look down,
Acknowledge the gruesome monsters
Which share space with me
A statue takes a seat next to me
Ever so aloof, it shows no emotion or interest
It is common courtesy to show each expressions.
I count the beats before it sinks into the environment
It shuns the social,
But I persevere.
Something was said
I wait for the sound of reprieve...
It screeches to me with heinous, awkward laughter
Shrieks through my ears.
Eventually it is over.
I look up, it does not exist.
Over, it retreats to dim light paradise
"We are done for today."


Justin Chen is a first-year student at Boston University, planning on majoring in Molecular Biology. He has anonymously published poems on an obscure tumblr, but this is the first time he has published under his own name.