Michael Minassian


Strolling through
the museum we gawked
at the empty frames

hanging on the walls,
even the exhibition
labels gone.

In the sculpture garden
muddy footprints led away
from broken pedestals.

The windows glazed with rain
could not fill in the blanks
even though I approached

them from many angles.
“The empty frames will remain
that way,” the curator told me,

“until all the stolen paintings
are returned, and the statues
from the garden welded back

on their bases, the cards
typed and replaced in their holders
and the glass cases filled.”

It was then that I noticed
she was naked, wearing only
an empty lanyard

swinging slightly
between her breasts
as she walked down the corridor,

her reflection bouncing
off the polished tiles
until she disappeared

into the wing of the gallery
next door, her bare feet
noiseless on the cold marble floor


Birds are the ancestors of dinosaurs –
or is it the other way around?

feathers and a long
corridor from the past –
like a puff of smoke
a cloud appears against

a sea-green wall:
this before the invention
of the photograph –

images emerge from the ceiling:
flying lizards, toads, a recipe
for witches’ brew,

three Scottish maidens
combing hair, feasting
on a pilot’s thumb

a diorama of a human heart
still beating long after dark.

Michael Minassian is a Contributing Editor for Verse-Virtual, an online magazine. His chapbooks include poetry: The Arboriculturist (2010) and photography: Around the Bend (2017).

For more information: https://michaelminassian.com.
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