A Room Full Of People Talking
Poem By Max Reif
A room full of people talking like runaway
trains that won’t ever stop.
No sun or moon rises or sets for the room—
no day or night, no seasons.
No one eats or drinks.
They talk in twos or small groups
on the sofas, on chairs, on the floor.
Voices rise and mingle.
Words dance in the air like cigarette smoke
with words from adjoining conversations.
The room has become a container of pure sound,
the residue of exchanged thoughts deposited into brains.
An introvert comes into the room.
The door behind him closes and locks.
The talkers are locked into one another’s eyes—
a room full of people talking and nowhere to go.
He stands against the corner of a wall.
He tries to become the corner,
feels naked and starts to sweat.
He tries to look like part of one of the groups.
It’s obvious he isn’t.
He could sit down somewhere and listen,
that’s how you start, maybe,
but the people have been talking for an hour.
They’re like bullet trains moving fast, each group is a train.
He stands there and contemplates the alchemy
of conversation, connection and energy.