The veil thickens. ‘Ghoti,’
again, ‘but how?’ The poet wonders
about the past, how she was brought from the point of origination to here,
lying in a museum, tapping on the glass.
History becomes a talisman, so
small, she wonders, so fragile.
Wrapped in its own story ages ago.
The grandmother is approachable,
tangible. The tangibility of experiential
memory, no less a fabrication than these wrappings.
The conception of Advanced Civilization, some connection
between the two points, the delicately wrapped body.
What is remembered now? What will be remembered later?
The tenses all collapse within the body, sunken chest, wounded
corpse. A loose end is found, the wrappings begin to unravel,
the unwound body emitting no divine light
as was once imagined.
The wonder sheds no light on comprehension,
the talisman still is lost in the veil.
The fragility of the event no less fragile.
So brittle, this history, so
tender. A small tear sits in the corner,
the gap lessens. She remembers a faint smell of formaldehyde
and cat litter, recognizes the tear,
the gap lessens. ‘Look, Ghoti,’
the poet says,
By Steve Minnich