We’re on museum time now
No need to rush
Soon we will return
To all the nudging people
And their noisy pleas
“Pay attention to me,” they’ll cry

This temporary relief is ours
The right to stand selfishly
And be still
In awe of something
But what?
Art, perhaps, or the power of our attraction unfolding before us

We go from painting to painting, pointing at walls
Sharing pretentious musings along the way
“An interesting Picasso, but not his best,” one of us quips
We pretend to know what we’re talking about
When our stomachs start to ache
We ponder lunch

It creeps in
The lingering dread that the clock continues ticking
And this playtime must end
You’ll exit with him
And I’ll sleep alone again
Dreaming of a Chilean island we can escape to

Some questions I quietly consider
While you two whisper secrets on the subway
Who needs Picasso when I have your portrait?
Why not me?
Will he ever let you read The House of the Spirits
And watch your favorite reruns in peace?

On museum time
I always stand closer than I should
Like I’m gazing at a fragile artifact behind glass
That I’m never allowed to touch
Not for fear that you would break
But of what could happen if you become free

I sense you feel it too
How else to explain the phenomenon
After all this passing time
I still see your curls
Brushing against your brown shoulders when you walk
But I can’t recall one single painting

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