Cosplay in the Fitzwilliam Museum of Cambridge

Painting to painting, we murmur Matisse, Monet,
Hals, Ruben. We scan the placards. We stifle
our yawns in the presence of greatness
in the Fitzwilliam Museum of Cambridge.

Babbling children cut the polite silence
and gallery watchmen slouch through shifts,
straightening in their chairs only as she enters.

The best stranger of the day; she is anime, kawaii,
head to toe a pastel princess.
Frills and pigtails like it was her royal birthright,
a moving exhibit in and of herself.

She glides from fruit to landscape to dusty portrait
beaming with joy at the contents of frames
that contain infinitely fewer wonders
than exist in her heart-shaped handbag.

A large bearded man who looks
exactly like he doesn’t belong with her
strolls alongside the princess.

Monet forgotten like old leftovers, we try
to understand this more present masterpiece.
We stare as he bows to hear her secrets
through cupped hands, the knight she deserves
in the Fitzwilliam Museum of Cambridge.