Silence crept around the books
and washed the air with whispered looks,
the studied glare of halted reading
gilded by the measured breathing
of a thousand sifting minds
examining the words they find
in wondering appreciation
for a fresh imagination.
innocent and unaware
the shelves devour the dreams they share
with characters who roam the pages
wandering through present ages,
stumble ghosts among their graves
in story lines no justice saves
deserving of their dusty corners
interrupted by no mourners.
tired, warm, the constant home
of those not wont to be alone,
ideas born inside the mazes
suffer reincarnate gazes,
sunny windows burn the night
and mark the sky with yellow light
while moving shadows color hollows
tiny rooms where quiet follows.
muted conversation stops
the slowly hands of humming clocks,
perchance the elevator wavers
in between the floors it savors
while you wait for time to catch
the moments in their perfect match
of balanced stay before the fading
in the day that dark is trading.
watch the slaves who pull the carts
they've interviewed for better parts
and bear the weight of waiting spaces
with the sighs of other places;
maybe when the calm of close
has threaded up the hours it sews
those pitied ones detained till empty
(mellowed souls rejoice with plenty)
dance the labor of their work
with fantasies where heroes lurk -
a crowd of cloth and lettered paper
fleshed by fiction's sly eraser.