The flow of conversation

Conversation begins unevenly
Voices start and trail off
Themes are tentatively suggested
Only to float away like the steam
Billowing from dark roast coffee
Studied silences are many
Typically broken by two desperate
Souls who speak simultaneously
Than stop in a fit of giggles

Before a spark ignites
And the conversation moves
Progressing briskly, wit crackling
Becoming crisper and more cutting
Volume increases, laughter bubbles over
Than explodes, filling the room
Heads turn towards the table
Fix their gaze on the guffawing group
Those sitting in the corner arm chairs
Long for such cheerful company
Students sitting at the desks
Yearn for a release from essay-writing

As the coffeeshop gets close to closing
The conversation takes on a structure
Norms and hierarchies emerge
Subtly sarcastic comments
Need to be outdone by caustic creations
Sweetly self-deprecating stories
Are overtaken by crude confessions

Words are now spoken at a frenzied pace
Tumbling out of unrestrained mouths
Out of a desire for mirth
A yearning for levity
In a dull, numb world
Then silence again.
A heart has been hurt.
But no one will vocalize it.
A shifty uneasiness emerges.
The friends part their ways.
And some begin to talk
Bemoaning certain comments
Made by particular people
Some even confide in others
Outside of the circle
Who make sweeping comments
With no bearing on the situation

Some of the friends see each other again
But the bonds between them are weaker
Milling about in a state of confusion
Feelings of affection are fleeting
And easily eclipsed by irritation
For behaviors they didn’t even notice before

Than the quicker tempo of urban life
Makes it easy for the group to dissolve