She wanted to get the day rolling early, while I wanted to hold on to the night & dream world where I’d soon return to the museum exhibiting the cathedral doors a man from my past intimated he didn’t understand why they were hanging on the wall. I said to Connors that the miracle for me was that that wood once had bark surrounding it, & that look, now, those carved figures are the spirit of Man. Realizing we’d have to leave the museum, I told him we should try to track down the Grünewald Crucifixion & Gauguin Self-Portrait & take away in visual memory as much as we could from them. I left him there by the steel & glass railing still contemplating the massive doors, while I set off in search of Matthias & Paul. At the information desk three German flight attendants in blue uniforms stood ahead of me in line, but the receptionist asked what I wanted. The first flight attendant asked if I spoke German when I mentioned Grünewald, “Nein,” I answered, then asked for “Gauguin’s Gauguin,” quickly correcting myself with “Self-Portrait.” She asked if I lived on River Street, because if I entered through that entrance I’d know where they’d moved the paintings a couple of years before. Then left me standing there staring at the marble floor.


Robert Gibbons is the author of three full-length books of prose poems with another, Beyond Time: New & Selected Work, 1977-2007, due out soon. He is poetry & fiction editor of Janus Head.

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