The True Tourist


There is that statue, the one you came
to see, fingers poised to touch.
Flashes bounced off a tin sheet ripple
the edge of a garment, opening
darkness, palpating wounds in its side.
Everyone knows the feeling: clutching at
presence. You have if for a second
before the light shifts.

Only a bit of it will stay; missing
the thread between knowledge and
memory. And if you lose detail
does it matter? Some days drift past,
obscure and inward as dreams.
You enter knowing, guided
or unguided, close to margins
of ignorance, elisions of script.

from Porcelain (Auckland University Press, 2001), © Diana Bridge 1996, used by permission of the author. Recording from the Aotearoa New Zealand Poetry Sound Archive 2004

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