Today's poem is by Ange Mlinko

The Children's Museum


It's hard to know whether today or yesterday was the full moon;
excitement isn't rigorous. It's just river-silvering

blent with the odor of silt where the roofs spike
along a repurposed waterfront.

A beach ball floats above the pressurized stream;
it is disequilibrium that keeps it there. Soap's expressed

as blisters when even gravity works backwards
at the limit of the ball held upside down inside the loop.

Rewards in a game they play against themselves
—"Fancy curtseying as you're falling through the air"—

the shade breaks up beneath the oaks
tithing their gifts against the curriculum

of an armed galaxy. It slides into focus for the instant
I'm brrr, blurred.


Rocks grown sagacious wigs along embankments
and then verandas rounded to embroidered iron,

boarded windows, clothing drops. The dive bell
lacks eels out its portholes, but "double-hulled"

nests two U's as it sounds. Nearby, a first draft
of the helicopter, patterned on a Chinese children's toy.

("I make you a present of everything I've said as yet.")
The ice wigs' molecules vibrate, but in a gas state

they're distracted, and at their most congenial, this:
—at the thickness of its muscle I recoil—the river cuffs

full of self-healing tears or self-buttoning froth
(like the governor vaned with goosefeathers)

stranding me among inventions,
with myself decked. Even mirrors are painted on.

Copyright © 2010 Ange Mlinko All rights reserved
from Shoulder Season
Coffee House Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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