INSIDE GLASS

Inside clear thick glass cubicles

Suspended on heights to which cats would be reluctant to climb

On bare iron ladders

 

Looking out from this unnatural vantage at the horizon that dips below

The eye catches a rush of wind sweeping through symmetrical mountains

Manicured paths with shaped down trees, which sometimes, grow tall enough

To bend, rise and testify to the force of a gale

Which inside this square, I can neither feel nor hear

But memories remind me

Of bronzed, rugged leaves floating, waltzing down treetops

Sunlight, pale in October, that brought with it a moist wind

That touched my skin in circles of light, illusive warmth and playful chills

The ears remember the sound of the sea from a seashell

The caverns of its spiral held memories of life which once was fluid and free

 

But here, in another empty shell,

Without crevices and curves but with jutting corners,

Rigid, colorless, lacking in imagination

Quiet, very quiet

 

The wind outside frustrated

With the lack of attention from so many eyes and bodies turned the other way,

Grows wilder

 

But Quiet, all inside, but for the persistent forgettable

Hum of the centralized air conditioning

Unbroken constant notes, not musical, not ambient,

 

Ears yearn for the sound beyond this illusion of clarity and openness,

But the windows are sealed glass walls

They can never be opened,

Thick glass, soundproof walls

 

The wind, she calls again, lifting a silk cotton ball from a burst brown pod

Lifting it up high, right up to where I stand stuck to the glass

It twirls, showing me that just putting out a hand, would earn it for me to keep

But stand inside I will, and stay composed and quiet

 

Ears heightened in sensitivity, with yearning for the outside

Let me pick up and make out, a new ecosystem of sound

Of glass doors opening and closing without friction, swinging on pendulums without noise

Plastic Keyboard taps and mouse clicks, in succession, in profusion,

Brief respites creating irregular rhythm

Hurried shuffling of leather clad feet with pointed polished toes on earth colored warm carpets

A creature like coffee machine hissing and sputtering, producing, giving out steam, heat, water

The faint movement of ink runners inside a printing machine

Expelling sheets in a cubicle

And finally voices speaking in monotones, hyper tones, about

All that is not related to the wind blowing outside, dancing up a ballet of silk cotton puffs

Speaking instead of new heights in concrete, glass and metal

Where cats would be reluctant to climb

On bare iron ladders

Because they learnt their lessons from the Tower of Babel in their previous lives

 

Reminiscing, I, with my nose to the glass like a child recognize

That I want the sound of the wind to reach me

I would rather be on the highest mountain in the world and be swept away

Fighting a gale

Rather than swim in this ocean of stillness and repetitiveness,

Like a pool lined and ordered

Without ripples, hidden, even from moonlight

I turn, intending to run out and reach the peak I imagine,

Only to be struck violently by realization

 

This pillar of glass stands built upon the grave of the last mountain

And the remains of the last forest is now this sparse landscaped garden,

I look again now, outside, peer out again, my eyelashes brushing the glass

There is no wind, she is quiet, she has left,

Was she never there?

Silk cotton puffs lie quiet like tired paper planes on the ledges midway down

 

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