Saying It

The Getty

We ride the train up to the museum on the hill
and you point everywhere but yourself:
an actor’s house; mimosa trees; the crescent

of distant ocean; Downtown Los Angeles.
Down there, a Little Tokyo street performer
is telling someone about his snowman screenplay.

Down there, your baby daughter is with the man
you won’t ever truly leave behind. Last night
she touched everything new, asking, This? This? This?

and you made patient introductions: chopsticks,
purse, Anne-Marie. When I first introduced
my future husband to my family, Uncle Dan asked him

what he liked most about me. He answered, She’s funny.
She makes me laugh. And Uncle Dan said,
What you’re saying is, she makes you laugh every day,

and only then believed it. Inside the fossilized walls,
you linger longest in front of the small, dark painting
of two women making hats. What I’m saying is:

Discovery is personal. Seeing a Degas up close
in a remote hilltop gallery. Seeing yourself as a phrase
worth writing. What I’m saying is: This. This. This.

Anne-Marie Thompson

Anne-Marie Thompson

Anne-Marie Thompson’s poetry collection, Audiation, was selected by Marilyn Nelson for the 2013 Donald Justice Award. New poems and essays are forthcoming in Ploughshares, Poetry Northwest, 32 Poems, Green Mountains Review, and other journals. She works as a technical writer for a software company and lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and son.
Anne-Marie Thompson

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Author: Anne-Marie Thompson

Anne-Marie Thompson’s poetry collection, Audiation, was selected by Marilyn Nelson for the 2013 Donald Justice Award. New poems and essays are forthcoming in Ploughshares, Poetry Northwest, 32 Poems, Green Mountains Review, and other journals. She works as a technical writer for a software company and lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and son.