Mundelein Rooms

Steps up and floating elevators for brave souls
     desirous for another blink
Professors rummaging hidden passageways
     feigning stoicism--students at heart

Books and papers carried on stiff backs
     an early ritual like monks carry stones
Sitting through lectures--still fasting, still !
     until the clock strikes the end of an hour,
     the end of an era still awakening

Mesmerizing passages, phrases that echo
     without sincerity or concrete meaning
After statue-esque slumber with still arid mouths
     still exhaling the end of a cigarette
     still exhaling the first break of the rising sun

Phasing into minimal classrooms like odd shapes
     onto a blank, white page

They look unkempt; wild, tired beasts
     wrangled in American zoo's--o God !

And back down the steps or falling elevators
     to come back again for yet another show
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