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April 11, 2010

the british museum

that first day in london,
we were so drenched
with exhaustion
we fell asleep
at st. martins-in-the-fields –
bellowing organ,
hard wooden pews,
congregation of office workers
at a lunch hour concert
and the two of us:
eyes rusted shut,
heads flapping forward
as if we were being rear-ended,
over and over,
by our own dreams

i think of that now
as you cover my ears,
my eyes to baffle light

i try to imagine
ever sleeping again,
let alone on a double-decker bus,
under creaking stairs
of a youth hostel
with no curfew

but in our bed,
late night or early morning,
scratch of eyelashes
on pillowcase,
constant movement
of my own chest,
half degree of heat
and i wake you
just to say i can’t sleep

you ask if i remember
the courtyard of the british museum:

we were weightless,
would have floated
if it weren’t for backpacks

room soft as a cocoon,
white as meringue
on a bone china plate

sunlight filtered
through a thousand trillium petals,
which we counted
before falling asleep
on a marble bench

-by Kerry Ryan

One thought on “the british museum”

  1. I love it when people write poems about places in the city where I live and should probably visit more often even though I don’t.

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