Trompe L’oeil at the Museum published in Constellations Journal Winter 2022-23

Many thanks to the Editor Nina Rubinstein Alonso for publishing my poem in Volume 12 of Constellations, a beautiful collections of poems and a fine looking journal.

I blink      you are gone.
I trail after the first reasonable thought — 
                                    you have gone ahead to the roof garden.
I search galleries
where we scrutinized 
the illusion of something there
            which is just paint
                                    but each room is empty.

Still not worried     I climb to the roof    ready to laugh
            when the doors open               
and you will be circling the garden sculptures:

a diapered baby, larger-than-life,
and a woman flinging her head over the wall.

I feel the baby might cry,       its fat legs, pop. 
The woman might follow her anguish            down.              

As I go down.

Back to the first gallery          where              I last saw you.             
Back to   the paper knives   playing cards   the wasp 
that seems to fly off the grapes. 

It is not a large museum so how could I lose you, tall as you are?

I, like Zeuxis, cannot draw back the tattered curtain. 

The eye deceives     the I                    Were you ever 
more than a momentary look
                        in the wrong direction?