Saturday, April 01, 2006

Touch the Works of Art

"Do not touch the works of art.
Do you hear me? No touching!
I'm talking to you. Do not touch.
It's against the rules!" And on the wall
a rather more gently-worded plaque,
full of helpful info about the corrosive effects
of the oil on human skin (it's like acid!),
how many other art patrons
want to enjoy these sculptures, please
help us keep them safe, preserve their lifetimes,
which will hopefully at least be longer than your
own, fourscore fleshbag turns of the hourglass.

Although if the sculptures could speak, I'm sure
they'd have their own opinions of the rule;
some haughty and happy on their pedestals,
others longing to touch and be touched, Moore's
Girl on a Chair wishing for a kind stranger's
shawl around her shoulders, to hide her
prepubescent breasts from grown men's calculating eyes;
Rodin's Crouching Woman writhing, twisting in her
hungry serpent desire for a hug, some human warmth
to break the monotony of rain, sun, camera flash, and
occasional dropping from a pigeon who
definitely did not pay attention to the rules.


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