But for Sighs

Hear the throbbing hum of the air conditioning
Trailed by a lighter, higher rattle of the fan.
Through them both, pencils scrape,
Little whispers of sound –
Now fast. Now slow. Now silent.
A rubber tip beats a drum beat
Once. Twice. A frown. It stops.
High and sibilant, paper slithers
Across a plastic desk, across other pages,
Then, loudly protests as it flips and bends.
Fingers tap, feet fidget –
But lips and mouths stay still but for sighs:
Silent people in a loud room.


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