1759 c/o Francine Elena

for all studious and curious persons

we're the first visitors
January people
a little sick and curious
entering this cold house
for things that were hot
this Empire is new
this museum is new

the founder sailed from Jamaica
with a crocodile, an iguana,
a snake and botany and
pieces of dead people and
a recipe for hot chocolate

the crocodile died aboard
the iguana jumped over the side
the snake found a new owner
the botany is here
the pieces of dead people are here
the recipe will become Cadbury's

here also are
a young elephant skeleton
a corner of somebody's house
an anchovy pear tree (a drawing)
a glove made from shellfish

let us talk quietly
let us observe a fragment
read the classification
'humana' can mean 'pieces of dead people'
‘curious’ can mean ‘killing things’
‘natural sciences’, ‘power display’

here are
a glass-eyed giraffe
a bronze Roman goose
a dead man called Irtyru
Irtyru's coffin
showing Irtyru meeting Osiris

now this particular instrument
no longer hurts people
can you see what it is?
let us observe and think something
how was it made?
it was made from the skin of a manatee

here are
a piece of a child
wooden Indian shoes
something that took a long time to make
a piece of a god
things that were torn up

let's cough and
learn and
feel cold
‘in the name of science’ and
walk through the long corridors
our marble echoes fragmenting