With the warm season,
comes itchy ankles and curly hair,
nights waking up to damp pillows,
cornucopias of moths blocking screens
and casting erratic shadows.
A time of migration,
the months away from home
condense into the atmosphere
sticking skin to fabrics,
making the tile slippery.
The afternoons swelter
as one stares at the people,
the paintings and lithographs
on the wall, and the space
lying between them.
An army of un(der)paid patrons
dutifully accompanying Rembrandt,
Rubens, Veronese, Ritts, Titian
and others through flowing galleries
of crowds like loose brush strokes.
Soldiers of defunct or unborn careers,
piddling around before death or life
across sixty-six acres and six venues
for little more than seven dollars
just over seven times a day.
The circus comes to town
each day of the week, calliopes blaring,
elephants, horses, clowns, aerialists,
daredevils, historians and security personnel
marching to the beat.
One reflects on the absurdity of counting
hours and days in these darkened rooms
while the sun marches overhead,
and the head of a cabbage palm
slowly wriggles free of a strangler fig.
The bay glistens like track lighting
glancing off oil paint, obscuring
the depths of blue, implying
something beyond the superficiality
of maintaining proper perspective.
When Actaeon turned his eyes
to Mount Olympus, writhing in the jaws
of his own dogs, did he regret the transgression
of bettering his vantage point,
or exalt the sight of bathing deities?
The onshore winds carry relief,
replacing symptoms of allergies
with the impression of airborne salt,
granting a momentary acceptance
of an impenetrable futurity.