Skip to main content
By Meg McManama
“A book [a museum] must be the axe for the frozen sea within us.” Franz Kafka

after the museum we fought.
the Adam and Eve tumbleweeding
to life didn’t please you,
nor did the wall-size sketch of refugees
with pearls on their neck, sailing into the storm
but look, I said, how those women being swallowed
by the wave aren’t quite flesh or water,
but you had already moved on.
walking outside, you said
you didn’t like any of it.

the fight looked like this:
outside our house
you were the axe
to my frozen sea.
you were tired from the day
and what was so wrong
with not liking museums?
the tragedy was this: no art
could please you, I couldn’t Kafka you
into feeling. you could never be
swallowed, never be half-man half-wave.

at home we ate soup like pilgrims
and pearled into each other to keep
from the cold.

Meg McManama is a PhD candidate at the University of North Texas and has an MFA from Brigham Young University. Her pieces are published or forthcoming in The Pinch, Citron Review, Cimarron Review, Western Humanities Review, Inscape: A Journal of Art and Literature and elsewhere.