The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for Tuesday and Great Falls

By Katrina Roberts

A man walks into a
museum in Paris, the Museum
of Natural History, to saw

a tusk off an elephant-
skeleton centuries-older than
he'll ever be, becoming

in those early morning hours
part of a derelict and
inglorious human history,

while swallows darn the air
in loops, their glinting wings
an origami of hushed folds

only glimpsed by one vigilant
girl, framed as she is within
a pane of glass, the door of her

heart opening onto a filigreed
balcony that keeps her
suspended, an unlikely wish

about someone not coming
back. A man walks. A man
walks in to a bar. "Whaddya

want?" Dusty continent
of desire. Majesty left as ragged
meat in heaps for hyenas

"laughing" in heat. Who can look
away? A man sets rough
elbows heavy on the lip

of zinc, thumbs each cheekbone
so his pointers steeple to catch
his brow, shuts eyes, heaves a sigh

then slumps to rest an unshaven cheek
against the cool, unquestioning
bar, as though to sink

into what's most elemental. What's
"natural" about any man
making his way alone

through empty Left Bank streets
carrying not a lovely burnished box
of watercolor paints in uniform

lozenge-cakes but a chainsaw?
The wheeling sky sees all
while sleepers sleep, still

dreaming in languages long lost
when day breaks. The pinking sky
sees all, but rarely speaks

though someone more Romantic
might say it weeps. And the sleepless
girl, orphaned by light, the bright

tusk of her hopes. The joke
no joke, no punch-
line, but a gut-punch in plain sight.


I spent Tuesday morning doing assorted chores, then my kids went out to lunch with my mother and I tried to catch up on e-mail and stuff. In the afternoon, Adam went to see friends from high school, and Daniel, Paul, and I went to Great Falls, where I had to limp and it was very overcast but we saw lots of birds:

Daniel had not seen Star Trek Beyond and wanted to see a certain founder of his company playing an evil alien, so after dinner (leftovers!), we watched that. Then we watched the end of the Cowboys-Lions game, Adam came home, and now we're watching some more ancient Pokemon episodes on VHS!

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