First Saturday at the Brooklyn Museum

Two people can write
a poem, one word at
a time. One word in
each voice: finishing
another's sentences
is a tricky thing. You
can hear the agendas
rustling, shoving.
There is the give
and take of it,
pushing someone else's
tongue. One man says "for,"
expecting perhaps "ever" or
else something concrete: "love," "money,"
"decades." The next man says
"three," forcing the first
to choose, refusing to be led.

There are twenty of us,
maybe more, and we're lying
on our backs amidst the Rodins.
This marble floor is overwhelmed:
the smalls of twenty backs, so
sudden and intimate. The sculptures,
heavy and black, look down, aloof
but maybe a little perplexed.
Higher above is the room's eye,
a nautilus-shell round window,
and it is pleased by the echoing
voices, gladdened by the forty eyes
returning its gaze, for once not
distracted by the French master's

June 2004