301 Moved Permanently

301 Moved Permanently


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Memorial, Plug-In Gallery

One day this will be all of us,
everyone I know and all that’s left:
sitting on plastic chairs in a dim
gallery room, sensible shoes, precise
new haircuts and old jewelry.  Walkers,
careful walking, and the high white
walls like hard open palms, slapping
every syllable back into the stark
room, paintings unhung, bodies,
concrete floor.  My body reverberates
with the echoing consonants of thirty
murmured conversations.  The walls
are blank, and stupid.  The portrait
at the front of the room slouches
on its easel. Canes clack against metal
chair legs.  No one is unfamiliar. No
one leads us in anything.  We are all
articulate and sad at once.  Your
mouth, in the portrait, has no words,
no comment, which is unlike you,
and unsettling, and the exact
moment when art
becomes scrapbooking.
With our good clothes and good
and careful postures, we turn
the pages, turn down the lights
when we leave.  Keep our smartest
jackets in the closet for next time,
taxi fare and photocopied broadsheets
in our pockets.

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