Mason Wray

I Contain the Memory Palace

this winter my heart is full of colossal Soviet architecture made miniature

for remembrance like the tiniest Titanic in a bottle

I’m chocked with astonishing relics brimming with whatever ideals are implied

by cement obelisks & ovoids my godless geometry stacked triumphant

in its decades-long decline when I pledge you allegiance I mean it in theory

of labor my ornate valves now everyone’s according to their need

I’ve nationalized me my heart a room of a thousand dim-lit rooms

impressively impractical ambitiously vacant do not be alarmed when I burst

forth with song as if bellowed by requirement from the rooftops

of brutalist apartment blocks I don’t believe a word of me I’m mostly just for show

Great Art

This art museum is sexy & not in the way a man at Harp & Crown

last Friday told me exquisite tequilas are sexy after I ordered

a thirty-dollar shot of mezcal by mistake then sipped it slowly

as if my life wasn’t all one great stumble toward nothing

I mean to say a lot of sex lives here: literally chiseled butts,

a two-foot marble penis my mother calls cute, Venus rising

like a champagne drenched oyster from a shell more voluptuous

than any sea shell I’ve ever seen & just like how

the one nice thing I accidentally asked for was designed to disappear,

missing Van Gogh’s forest for the phallic trees is a metaphor

for something but I find my existence easier to swallow at face value

unlike the elderly docent when she asks if I’m here

for the Russian Constructivist exhibit & I tell her I’m just here

for the sex ma’am if you’re reading this you should know

in the spirit of great art whatever you think I meant is exactly what I meant

Mason Wray is a Georgia poet and a graduate of the MFA program at Ole Miss. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Ploughshares, New Ohio Review, Hayden's Ferry Review, Diode, and others. A poetry editor at Bear Review, he lives in Atlanta.