Wear calico dress with Blueboard
shoes, Corflute wings, Mylar
glasses, dangling Ethafoam earrings.
Create houses for each object. Know
what is inside without a reference image.
Bundle up rust from your great-great-uncle’s
chandelier, each bulb, the light itself.
Take care with the light, it has a habit
of sneaking out again. Use double
layers if necessary. Never know
which object you might ruin next
with your care. Like your great-
grandmother’s dinner set and soup
plates – the kind that makes eating
chicken soup a silky experience.
Lick the porcelain. Taste the gold,
before wrapping in Tyvek –
not too tightly or the handles
may snap. Best not to unwrap again.
Offer to preserve others’ objects.
Become outcast, like the lonely objects
that don’t get preserved –
tweezers used to pluck
the smallest of chicken feathers
for the Passover meal. The wine cup
that leans to the left from a knock
to the ground. Unclip those Ethafoam
earrings. Use them as buffers, stabilisers.
Become stable. Realise you do not need
to preserve everything. Flap your Corflute
wings. Unbutton the light. Let it flow
to where it wants to go. Watch it peer
through the crack in the inpatient’s
dark painting. Listen to how much it means,
this crack of light. Wonder how you could
have ever wrapped it away in the first place.
Tear strips from your calico dress, enclose
this memory-thought gently inside Blueboard
shoes. Preserve so you don’t forget.
Bury in a light-filled place.
Note: Calico, Blueboard, Corflute, Mylar, Ethafoam and Tyvek are used in museums and galleries as materials for preservation.