Snatching Laughter

By day, it’s easy to smile among clickety-clacking footsteps in the halls. I’m part of the phalanx of professors. I steal laughter and murmured invitations.

At night, my companions are shadows and empty inboxes.

I’ve heard my name muttered in the halls. Going method, stick to the curriculum, mental problems.

Why am I insane to teach class dressed as Czar Nicholas II? Texts are constipated abstractions.

I even offer to treat colleagues to drinks. Invite them over to watch The Last Czars. But they retreat into theories and mysterious, calculated parties.

The days lengthen. More conversations to snatch.

That’s something.

© Yash Seyedbagheri 2020

Yash Seyedbagheri is a graduate of Colorado State University’s MFA program. His stories, ”Soon,”  “How to Be a Good Episcopalian,” and ”Tales from a Communion Line,” were nominated for Pushcarts. Yash’s work  has been published in The Journal of Compressed Creative Arts, Write City Magazine, and Ariel Chart, among others.