We sit in silence.
The lack of stimulation swells up the space, such that
the slightest creaking joint, gurgling stomach, suppressed cough, or muted sniffle
is left stamped in time, leaving its mark
on this empty room filled only with people.
Every now and then,
a pattering crescendos overhead, starting softly and multiplying,
like the chorus of a thousand children’s fingers
tapping excitedly on the roof.
It is a peaceable space.
The wooden boards overhead slope upwards, then downwards
in one soft, rolling wave. Glass flows from ceiling to floor,
and beyond them, a facade of trees watches;
our only audience.
Only paces away,
cars roar past, students shriek, and broadcasts yammer on.
But these sounds are mercifully invisible to us;
erased as part of a pause in time.
For a moment, the world is quiet here.*
*Last line inspired by Lemony Snicket’s (i.e. Daniel Handler’s) “A Series of Unfortunate Events.”