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The Scholar

The musky scent of dust is everywhere
Clogging his nose
His throat.
Each particle settles eveywhere
No matter how much he brushes it away
Even on his balding head.
There is no sound beyond
A rustle of pages
A cough
And the ringing in his ears.
Sometimes,
When he’s lonely,
He can hear voices as real as his.
He hears a little girl’s twinkling laugh,
A youth’s cracking voice.
Whole families, parties, even cities are just behind the bookshelf.
But he knows
The moment the get up
And peeks around
His only company will go away.



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