In the Museum of What I’ve Been Thinking

Kate Angus



This whole night was Cannot Sleep and so you watched
the bedroom window in the mirror and waited. Curtains

rose and fell. Imagined sailing, and for a minute the bed
was a boat to pilot, but the floor’s stagnant water

and you ran aground. Outside, the streets are dark and darker.
When I say you I mean I, which is solipsism, but, whoever you are,

be awake. On a plane, sitting in the inverted funnel made
when light isolates the solitary reader

like an experiment in a long glass tube. On a train or bus stuck
in the same phenomenon. Or in your lover’s kitchen

where you sip cold seltzer by the sink or the back yard with the constellations
of metal cans you abandon open for stray cats. Before

the fish was skinned, its scales gleamed metallic too. As did the hook
that caught it and the river under stars and moon: silver, silver. Sometimes

my days feel layered with connections that shine
the same way certain routes light up

when you press a button on 3-D Children’s Museum displays.
In the Revolutionary War room, we can follow

the path Paul Revere’s horse took on that famous midnight ride.
Note the churches and their steeples

where the lanterns glowed and huge bells shaped like metal tulips
their alarums clanged. Down the corridor in Basic Biology, you’ll find

the entire central nervous system branching out
and, next door, are veins and capillaries

like all the secret causeways ever dreamed of–static
as they unfold before you on the body’s perfect illuminated map.


Kate Angus is a founding editor of Augury Books. Her work has previously appeared in Best New Poets 2010, Best New Poets 2014, The Awl, The Rumpus, Subtropics, and Verse Daily. Her debut collection, So Late to the Party, is forthcoming in spring 2016 from Negative Capability Press.