Conversation by Lucy Sydel

Sometimes, while listening,

their words slip in between sounds and patterns,

just as water slips in between the ridges of a sunken beach chair.

At this point, their sentences become amphibious.

Caught in a metamorphic state between wriggling shapes and pulsing frequencies.


And while they talk,

all I can hear are hastily drawn lines of ink on a long sheet of paper

and the low hum of thoughts passing through.

Their words are slung over the top of the open door

like a fraying blue towel waiting to be used

and used again.


And so I pretend that I am back by the river,

leaning over the splintery railing,

my eyes flicking back and forth between the water and the sky --

Nodding, I catch myself looking up at the tops of trees

with their branches etched in small cross hatchings

against a solid navy backdrop of sky.


Only then, through the dense thicket of voices,

there is silence:

wriggling through the pauses in conversation, changing shape,

weaseling through small spaces, long corridors of sound,

inching around the corner of a room like a spy,

then settling down quietly, 

like a thin layer of dust --

with particles dancing patterns in the light.