White Marble


Who knew something so ethereal could be so deadly?
I sometimes revisit the gallery, by mistake;
The sculptures lie frozen in terrifying action.
I see their hands:
Short fingernails at the end of a large grasping arm,
Belonging to a being with blank, wild eyes, open wide;
And then another scene, of abandonment:
Long, flowing hair against a narrow, naked back,
Looking toward a time when she would feel young again.
The second figure lies inert, uncaring, oblivious.
The hands do not grasp in this scene.
I leave the gallery through a door that doesn’t close;
It doesn’t have a handle.

Most of the time I can’t leave the museum,
It seems like my fault,
I lost the key which opens up to Fifth Avenue.
I see beauty; I feel joy,
But they stay frozen in time, on the wall,
And I can’t relive these colorful abstracts.
I sometimes hide in the Temple of Dendur,
Scared motionless that the wild-eyed grasping figure
Will come to life once again,
And I will become chiseled in white marble,
My face an expressionless void of dexterity.

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