In That Country
there is nothing but statues. The statues
crowded out the people. The statues
filled the intersections. The cars tucked
their exhaust fumes between their tires
and crawled away. The traffic lights
burnt out, starting with the green.
Maybe I was too young when I lived
in that country. If I poured out milk,
there were streams of white marble
at my feet. If I cracked my knuckles,
to this day the sound still turns
slowly in the air like a mobile.
There was an ancient goddess I thought
I would bring to life. I kissed
the statue on the lips, I ran
my hands over her breasts. The country
had no museum guards to stop me.
The statue only grew colder, looked away.
I was one of the last to leave
that country before its borders
were sealed. You can’t get in now
or out. But there is a velvet
rope around the country. You
can stand at the barrier and look in.
I go there whenever I am traveling
in that part of the world. The country
is small but seamless. If I walk
around it enough times, I can convince
myself infinity is not an illusion
and feel nostalgia for the inhabitants.