Do Not Touch
Is what the sign says
In the Montreal Art Museum
Next to the gilded statue
Of a cross-legged long haired anorexic girl
Called “Along the Path to Enlightenment”
Like an ancient emaciated Buddha before the tree and morning star
Her ribs show breastless
As a vine winds up her torso
A passing woman pauses, then fervently touches
Our Lady of Starvation
And an elderly Japanese lady
Actually caresses the statue’s hands with her own
Then sits down, and imitates the mudra.
I catch the eyes of two friends
Pleasant looking, speaking French.
We’re shocked by these caresses. Don’t know
What to think.
Artist Marc Quinn’s “The Road To Enlightenment” in Montreal