Tuesday, November 07, 2006

museum city

Museum city smells of damp pine
in the early morning,
before the blacksmith
stokes the fire into a thick smoke,
before the actors have laced corsets
and the wood stoves are hot.

In Dr Watt’s house there are narrow stairs
where his bedroom waits for him.
An open bottle of scotch in the saloon
has his fingerprints where he left them,
the scent of his juniper cologne still hanging.

A hairbrush at the brothel has
settled near leggings and
dirty tousled linens,
all fallen like dust
for a century untouched.

Red trees lean in
over the dried up bed of
a diverted river
the water gone elsewhere --
like empty clothes and rooms,
with the breath squeezed out.


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