In the Museum at Teheran

a sentimental curator has placed   
two fragments of bronze Grecian   
    heads together boy

and girl so that the faces black-
ened by the three thousand years of   
    desert sand & sun

seem to be whispering something   
that the Gurgan lion & the wing-
    ed dog of Azerbaijan

must not hear but I have heard   
them as I hear you now half way   
    around the world

so simply & so quietly more like
a child than like a woman making   
    love say to me in

that soft lost near and distant voice   
I’m happy now I’m happy oh don’t   
    move don’t go away.

James Laughlin, “In the Museum at Teheran” from Poems New and Selected. Copyright © 1996 by James Laughlin. Reprinted with the permission of New Directions Publishing Corporation.
Source: Poems New and Selected (1998)
More Poems by James Laughlin