– in the basement of the Rietberg Museum, Zürich
Sinuous bodies joining hands in Indian sandstone
ankle linked across a ledge—
Peruvian puma beside West Mexican fetishes
bone masks & rhinos of Mali
& La Côte d’Ivoire—
Oblong faces & dark mystery stare
longing to be touched through the glass.
reaches out through iron teeth across the aisle
to Persia, to Egypt, to Rome?
Silver bobbles, fluted bottles, feathers of a winged Isis:
I’m looking for a talisman—
& find this slender-necked lute with its flat leather base stretched
around a hollow frame.
I imagine it to fit nicely in the players lap.
Five strings strung taut
fly upward from the center to where
there’s a carved head, serene
with dreams to be carried off on silent waves of music.
I would capture them all
in this little bottle for you—porcelain
with painted ponies in a ring &
lion cubs at its shoulders—open the brass stopper
bring your ear to the sound!
Peter Grieco is a former university writing instructor who has published around 100 poems over the past five years. He is currently studying mathematics in Buffalo, NY, his native city. He enjoys studying French and composing songs for the guitar. You can find some of his music at: http://www.youtube.com/user/pjgrieco and can contact him there as well.