A museum with a story

by eloisehendy

In the back of a copy of Eliot
(Blurb hummed ‘poetry as relevant and revelatory today’; reference to Cats)
A ticket stub –
Prinsengracht two six three
Anne Frank Huis, Een museum met een verhaal
A receipt –
Antipasti Piatto
Personal thanks exclaimed
From Vapiano @aldentefood
Where do people eat their sandwiches?
Right around the corner
At 13:44 and 52 seconds

A frosty post-adolescent February,
A paranoia attack,
Collar bones too close to surface.
Tiny stick figures on a a frozen lake
The rape of Leda.
We take photographs of each other
And wait for WiFi connections to facilitate collective memory
Graffiti smothers bathroom stalls
We order coffees
From obligatory coffee shops
And let others know we were here

(A ticket stub in the back of a book)
(Een verhaal)

A crisscross of tramline wires
Tying the waterways in knots
(Knotted stomach, lump in the throat)
The paranoia lingers
Longer than it takes for the smoke to leave the clothes
Thanks for visiting!

Airport waiting room nausea.
Behind tinted glass – a single dim area,
Black box squatting among halogen food halls –
Half obscured silent skeletons lurk
Shadow figures; creatures of the half light
Hands bring stubs to mouth
Nausea waves long pale fingers
The fog does not lift upon re-entry
The perpetual sushi bars and coffee stands howl.

Separated by thirty three months
A train pulls away from a station
Hot water tap turns sachet to foam
Instant powdered cappuccino frothing
Cardboard cup, lipstick stained.
Tinny tannoy announces another northern town
Drowned out by headphones blocking static from the tracks
“I want a perfect body, I want a perfect soul”