LIFE WITHIN A MUSEUM
To see faces of men, remote and deep,
remote as in a listener singing without words,
singing and seeing the processions of thousands
waiting for the picture to drift and sing
organize into prismatic perceptions
the unkempt indifference of their wish.
To see the wish grow ripe in the images darkly golden,
darkly painted as the whole stands darkly seen;
desire golden the aura of centuries painted real,
recollected within the shadowy clearness of a mind within
a sea of images, a sea of birds, a birth within
a sea, foam like wings, new birth, new air.
To see the images unravel life within life,
fertile and thickening at the edges--a defense
against life's awkward movements to dislodge
its seed; to turn it limp, and damp, and swarming
with images of the past again--a star, an axe,
salt on the axe, and in the throat.
Music will be salty, too: overwhelmed
with images like sounds, shadows dissolving into song,
shadows conversing in unreal tongues, unreal echoes,
air drifting words in voiceless paraphrases, painted men
under a painted star fishing for the future nestled in the sea
like in a womb, the safest citadel of singing
birds flapping wings imagining alarm:
"The womb has lost its power to create!"
without voice, without words, these golden faces
sing of the past--the salt, the axe,
the air drifting in while they stand frozen--
the guards, the public: a museum still.