Through the bookshelves he heard the displaced
Highway air, pushed under bridges and around glass --
The wail of machinery, progress,
               efficient travel.

What would happen if the bookcase behind him fell?
A wall of faded brown -- The Science of Kinetics -- would hide
The pressured student. Pages would fly through the air
Dancing with eachother, shaking off gray neglect.

Perhaps, out the window
        Into a windshield and tossed
              aside with another howl from
                    rubber on steel
                               on asphalt
                               on landfill.

Maybe a chain reaction -- A bookcase may slam into another, dragging everything down.
Maybe someone would rush, making sure he’s all right, to find the pen locked in
mid-scrawl -- Suddenly, everything frozen.

    The turnpike finally silent; the clocks finally silent; the air finally silent.
            Everything stationary and perfect.

                    Perhaps away; perhaps back; perhaps returning?

                                              The silence is broken by the snapping sound of gum on teeth
                                                                                 and more excruciating movement outside.