While Exploring Le Musée des Arcanes
His eyes follow me around the cluttered room,
this portrait of a man from another century—
painted by a skilled hand, fine brushstrokes
though the artist neither signed the work
nor identified their subject.
I gaze into his eyes, this man in a stiff collar
who posed by gaslight before my grandfather
was born, and can almost feel his boredom
and ego, wondering how he ended up in a gallery
in a narrow museum amongst curios and taxidermy.
Isn’t it strange how portraits feel like mirrors
if you stare at them long enough? The background
spins and the light dims and I can almost feel
that starched white collar clutching my neck
and though I wasn’t walking, I trip into the frame.
And now my spirit, never stirring, never sleeping,
never blinking, still is waiting, still is waiting
for some other fool to stare into my eyes once more.