At the Museum of Modern Art
            After Ai Weiwei and Doris Salcedo

 Standing by glass parapets,
“Are you afraid of heights?”

For once, I am afraid to fall.
We walk past the white walls.

A pact: to each find one thing
we love. You: a black book

under glass, propped
open to a single page,

Duchamp’s “Fountain”
photographed, displayed. Not

because of what was
in the book—we don’t know

what else was in it— but
the idea, something that stood,

really, for everything
worth knowing, all just beyond

our grasp. I loved
something hidden, too: shoes

sewn into the wall, screened
with lambskin. The flats

that looked, at least, beneath
the dead and yellow glow,

pointed, black—they seemed to be
a pair that I had worn.


Rebecca van Laer
Copyright © 2014  

Rebecca van Laer’s poems and criticism have appeared or are forthcoming in the Iowa Review, the Cimarron Review, Crab Creek Review and elsewhere. She has taught creative writing at Boston University and at Brown University, where she is currently a Ph.D. candidate.

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