Today’s Assignment Is On The Whiteboard

Trying to understand how things happen.
Silence is the whiteboard upon which
the teacher writes with a small
stick of light. The words glow blue-black
up there before us all. Each minute of class
contains a lifespan. All minutes
are lifespans, in fact. Do you know
how many lives end as quickly
as they begin, how we thankfully
are never fully aware of it
but can sense, somehow, at times,
the sputtering back and forth
of ghost beings who were never here
long enough to register as such?
Human and inhuman alike, they mattered 
as much in their impermanence as we do
in the only slightly longer time we are held here.
The teacher writes on the whiteboard with light
drawn from the flickering in the room.

Trying to understand how anything happens
in such poor light. How in all this cycling
there is no moment where everything is alive enough
to have full agency, and no moment 
where everything is dead enough to have full peace.
The teacher writes in silence. Feel, it is written.
To understand how everything happens, you must
feel the static from all these comings and goings.
The stones themselves flicker under your feet.
Can you now feel them? Nothing and everything
happening at once, lives and deaths, existence 
a flame first here, then there. Consciousness
humming a steady note with a name
we keep meaning to look up to see
if one truly exists for this. The teacher
writes in what we once called silence
with a small intense light on the whiteboard, 
dismisses us without turning around, keeps writing
as we go out single file from the room. 

About Tony Brown

A poet with a history in slam, lots of publications; my personal poetry and a little bit of daily life and opinions. Read the page called "About..." for the details. View all posts by Tony Brown

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