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When I walk out of the museum
The wall of sudden light makes me crinkle up my nose
And standing, coat half on, between marble columns
I sneeze into the wind

When I walk out of the museum
I have centuries of dust behind my eyes
I hunch a little bit
From the culminated weight of all these other peoples' ideas
I see a tipped over garbage can blowing in the street

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When I walk out of the museum
I think about a snorkeler surfacing tangled in kelp
That is me: writhing, wild attention, glancing around
The huge museum doors behind me slam
And I flinch

In all of these brief flashes of momentary clarity
The emptiness that cuts through is like
A bowl beneath the sky
Empty, not yet pregnant
Fertile, without form
It terrifies me, the raw possibility
And I want to go back inside
But when I walk out of the museum
Everything I see seems rippling and alive
On a freezing January day
The museum
And the garbage
And the internet
And the constellations
All collapse into a heap
And light floods out
From this compost pile


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