“Can I go home yet?”
Such a small voice for a big statue
On a grey stool in the corner
a British Museum guard yawns
and turns away from the conversation.
Maybe this happens every day.
“Where’s home?” I whisper.
“Where the sea eats the sky,
where the shells have lost their voices.”
A charioteer taps my shoulder.
“Me too. Have you come with horses
wild enough to drive us back to Hellas?
No one needs us here.”
Across Room 115 they queue politely:
a jade dragon,
a gold l lama,
a bronze king,
a silk princess,
a whale bone chessman,
an ivory dildo,
a granite Buddha
whose smile has long since flown,
the inevitable mummy
an alabaster bishop,
an ebony judge,
like I have the keys to a Magic Bus
to repatriate every exhibit to its ruin.
The British Museum guard excavates
a nostril and checks his watch.
There’s still an age to pass before lunch.