MANUAL LABORS

 

 

Bin Ramke

Museum Item 94.09.171

if I say the most interesting thing about the
         item is the number inked onto its side

if I say this is what I first see in the photograph
if I say the item itself resembles the size
         shape and color of a potato

this is not to deprecate but to pray
to add some measure to my own worth, word

for the number calls to mind Shoah
for the potato calls to mind famine
for the photograph calls to mind Light
omitting and the act of seeing, Artifact,

for the shape fits the hand
for the hand is sister to vision
for the hand formed the brain

for vision occurs in the lateral geniculate body
then the striate cortex

for I have a pen and I can make that kind of mark
and I must eat and I have a hand
and I have a past, dim, doomed, memorial.