At the National Portrait Gallery: A Short Sequence

By | 31 October 2021

– – (Part)

I’m unsure
what is happening even
as it occurs. It’s spring, to

be sure. E.E. Cummings is on
the rise & quickens with the running
sap. (What season was he but spring?)

In this moment, I have lost my train, misplaced
my concentration, and in straying, I’ve discovered
something else and in finding this else I have mislaid
my sense of direction.

– – All of

these accents are mine. (Little gifts the size of
syllables. Little gestures the space
of nodding.)

(- – Whole)

I have wandered into
beauty: magpie chattering

by the lake, foisting
its anxiety, arguing

with itself. The sun wears
a pale yellow dress, twirls, then stands along

the wall minding the clouds.
The security guard calls me

love, and I walk into the building
backwards. Nothing is free,

though there’s no entrance fee.
Everything around me is man-

made, except the water’s ripples & the king-
parrot’s whistling. When impulse lurches,

and I find myself
in an empty gallery,

what are my hands

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