Jasper Johns is Still Alive
Jasper Johns Exhibit at The Broad, Los Angeles, 2018
I find out this weekend.
I say, “That can’t be right.”
You say, “Well, it is. He’s alive.”
We walk in the room with
all the flag paintings. In one of them,
I count only 48 stars.
“What year did Hawaii
and Alaska become states?” I ask.
You don’t know. I don’t either.
Some of the flags are gray.
Then on to all those numbers paintings.
After a couple of those, I get bored.
It feels like math.
So we go upstairs
to visit the permanent collection.
You’re wearing a bright orange scarf.
I take a picture of you riding
up the escalator. You protest
when I want to post it
on Instagram. I do it anyway.
Because you look good in it.
And Jasper Johns is still alive.
Clint Margrave is the author of the novel Lying Bastard (Run Amok Books, 2020), and the poetry collections, Salute the Wreckage, The Early Death of Men, and Visitor (Forthcoming) all from NYQ Books. His work has appeared in The Threepenny Review, Rattle, Cimarron Review, Ambit (UK), Verse Daily, and The Writer’s Almanac, among others. He lives in Los Angeles, CA.
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