At the Luxarium
"If people could put rainbows in zoos, they'd do it."
—Bill Watterson, Calvin and Hobbes
Only after you have taken in the bottled lightning
and the snow-globe aurorae, will you come
to the caged spectra. (This season, in order
to see the other most-popular attraction,
Blake's Tygers, you must come at night.)
Here, imprismed, all seven of the banded hues
can be seen, radiantly arrayed in sickle form
between two great stanchions of white light.
The reds, the oranges, the yellows,
followed by the darker tints
(perhaps hinting at equatorial roots,
perhaps not—the genetics of
colored light remain controversial)
all of them quite naked,
the underthings of the natural
world, the sun's petticoats.
As however the cones of your eyes
can be permanently seared
by the vividness of the display
(to say nothing of its prurience),
a five-minute viewing limit is once
Not a problem. There's always your
cellphone-cam to capture photos
for later delectation.
And so when your three hundred seconds
are up, you force yourself to move on,
emerging once again,
dazzled and shaking,
into the pure monochrome of sunlight.