The Exhibition Was Very Beautiful

By Sandra Beasley Sandra Beasley

The Traveler’s Vade Mecum, line 907

The exhibition opened on a rainy Thursday, with cello suite.
They hung the paintings to be viewed from both front and back.
Luna moths flapped their great green sail-wings.
Stingrays flapped their great gray sail-wings.
Those visiting the exhibition were encouraged to touch.
Captions were available in Braille and audio.
The exhibition tasted like cherries.
A critic asked if the exhibition was a “facile juxtaposition of   ideals.”
The mother of the exhibition calls constantly and the father, never.
The exhibition has taken to pouring a little scotch in the coffee.
When designing layout, remember
it is crucial how a bias cut fits at the exhibition’s hips
and foot traffic turns to the right, not the left.
They hung the sculptures to be viewed from both above and below.
They painted the walls a shade of “eggshell, minus calcium.”
The exhibition did not consider itself an exhibitionist
until the incident at the east window.
The exhibition is very sorry and will refund upon request.
Stingrays flapped their great gray sail-wings.
Luna moths flapped their great green sail-wings.
No matter how short a trip, the exhibition packs two pairs of shoes.
The exhibition never knows when it is coming home again.

Source: Poetry (July/August 2013).


This poem originally appeared in the July/August 2013 issue of Poetry magazine

July/August 2013
 Sandra  Beasley


Sandra Beasley is the author of I Was the Jukebox (W.W. Norton, 2010), Theories of Falling (New Issues, 2008), and Don’t Kill the Birthday Girl: Tales from an Allergic Life (Crown, 2011).

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