an abnormal fear of being in enclosed or narrow places

It's getting worse: strange bathrooms. Airplanes.
That bedroom in Italy with the bars across the window
And the door that stuck just slightly when you tried
To open it in the middle of the night. Elevators. Tunnels.
That hotel in Greece without door handles, the one
Where you place your key in a dish and it turns
On everything in the room. Movie theaters. Trains.
Like that cave on the Lebanese border where they
Showed us the tourist film. I thought, don't put me
In a cave and then shut the door. This is insane.
The cistern system under the city of David,
Where I saw the problem: you can't get in,
You can't get out. I thought I would die under there.
I only did it because we were with your family.
What I'm scared of: bathrooms. Getting stuck,
Of course, or not being able to get out, whatever is worse.
Oh, did I mention bathrooms? And the hotel with
The wall of windows over-looking an alley in Israel.
By far the worst, was in that little tent in the mountains
While camping and the rain coming down in buckets.

Christine Yurick's poems have appeared in journals print and online. She is the founding editor of Think Journal. She lives with her three cats, and her husband, the photographer Michael Kahn. (

Boxcar Poetry Review - ISSN 1931-1761