Dec 13
 
 

Antique

The shop owner asks if we’re together.  And I
suppose it would seem that way, the way
we perched on the Balinese wedding chest
with our tape measures, trying to calculate how
many visitors times how many hours until all
the history is smashed, bleached and torn.

Tin ladies lounge on their sides, offering incense.
We run our hands over the inlaid bone in a desk,
crane our necks around the bowsprit, ripped like
a scalp from someone’s ship hundreds of years ago.
The designer’s hair is sheathed in a polar fleece scarf
as if to say, I understand the use of turbans
but prefer a more modern medium to hold in my skull.

She’s ridiculous.  The prices are extraordinary, as if
a kid walked around with a crayon and drew big zeroes
wherever he could.  We’re trying to imagine the
Thai water pot being kicked twelve times per hour.
You make a joke about the Director’s baseball card
collection, the xylophone he locks up at night for
safekeeping.  I counter with a story from his childhood,
the time he touched a Tesla coil and his hair stuck up
like new grass. It’s all fiction:

our exhibit, her hair, the When Dynasty masks
and their quiet shrieks.  I hand you one terra cotta
Ganesh after another.  We’re partners in teak.
I see how she made the mistake.  We’re young; it’s old.