A man begins to understand his failure as a husband whilst visiting The Museum of Epiphanies with his soon to be ex-wife

by Tom Sastry

Highly Commended in the Bare Fiction Prize for Poetry 2015

This exhibition will change your life
but for how long? It’s boring –
the clamour for illusions, the clatter
of falling scales. Just past the turnstile

a wax girl sees a statue cry. She realises
that people prefer signs
to the thing signed for, that symbols
enlarge themselves by eating human

hearts. Your fences go up, come down.
Gurus prospect your emptiness.
There must be more to life than this, you cry.
The spirit enters you, the new age begins –

it is everything today is not.
We hide its promises behind our backs
in balled fists. You pick the left –
it’s empty. The right is too

but just out of reach is a jar of the sixpences
on which the world once turned.
In the Gift Shop they sell magnets
to hold pictures to the fridge of your memory

whilst above you, and underwater,
a man realises that love happened
without him. This tea-towel says sorry.
Let me buy it for you.

 

Tom Sastry

A man begins to understand his failure as a husband whilst visiting The Museum of Epiphanies with his soon to be ex-wife was Highly Commended in the Bare Fiction Prize for Poetry 2015, as chosen by Jo Bell.