Institute of Art, Spring Break

by Maryann Corbett

She’s home; we hit the new exhibits. Shall I mimic
her knowing comments on the fare the galleries serve us?
She talks exalted theory; I hear slick and gimmick.
The tall white silence settles in. It makes me nervous,
her taste for the exotic, life as art and theater.
(The thrill of body piercings, hair dyed flaming red.)
The gift shop, then, as neutral zone? Perhaps I need a
book to explain it all. (Parent as chickenhead).

But she has plans and schedules, and we need to focus.
Sunset; her bus is coming. (Am I sounding dour?)
She rattles on: world travel plans, fresh hocus-pocus.
Off now; goodbye! New man again: ah, sweet. And sour.
The white facade, gazed back at from the transit stall,
glows pink, like grade-school posters of the Taj Mahal.

Maryann Corbett is the author of two chapbooks, Dissonance (Scienter Press, 2009) and Gardening in a Time of War (Pudding House, 2007). She’s a past winner of the Willis Barnstone Translation Prize and a finalist for the Morton Marr prize. Her poems, essays, and translations have appeared in more than sixty journals in print and online.

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Pat Jones
Published 28 July 2010