zone

Clutching my pass;
the forbidden corridor stretches;
it’s quiet at dead center, at midday;
the building is clean; each day it gleams
in another buffed layer of wax; yet
a dull green din darkens
the cavernous shaft
sun rays somehow sneak into
the vastness and bounce among
the tiled hard surfaces;
lockers pass in dull repetition
like backgrounds in a cheap cartoon;
a thousand blank slates sit in
cubbyhole portals off to the sides;
uniform buzzes hermetically sealed
in the honeycomb hives hidden
from the forbidden corridor;
Still, no sign of life in the middle
of the hall; flapping flared cuffs
and unbroken Chuck Taylors slapping
and squeaking on a shimmering
hard sea; wavy lights dance
in the floor’s imperfections;
Stop, and they stop, and all is still
vast and quiet, still slightly dark
at midday;
Move, and they move again;
wavy undulating light glazes
shine in shadow ripples in all directions;
The hall goes on to its ends; up steps
the repetition begins again; passages unending
fan away again, in the same dull luster;
a place of sameness gleams its clean
surface smiles where roll calls
of the nameless are repeated; and passages
of sameness are named to the faceless
again and again;
soon a drone will grow and this quiet zone
will fill with noise,
and the place will be quiet again
and the buffing will come, when
dirt is snuffed out; and sounds become
a sterile muffle;
And it’s quiet and dark in the hall,
still.

————-

c. 2001, 2008 Evan Gilling

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