Humboldt’s Progeny by Karla Daly

Alexander von Humboldt thought tools are an extension of the brain. Last week, I heard a scientist posit that tools are part of the brain, as if there were no skull. It made me pause. I saw the scientist again at an art gallery. Gazing at Renoir’s Luncheon of the Boating Party, he sat alone in silence on a bench. Hung his head for a moment. Then stood. Hoisted himself up to the painting, put one leg into the canvas, then the other, tablecloth and wine bottles closing behind him. The little dog barked. The canopy rustled, then settled. There he is, peering over the shoulder of the man in the white jacket. I told no one and left.

Karla Daly is a mid-life graduate of American University’s MFA in Creative Writing program. Her poems have appeared in The Ekphrastic Review, The Prose-Poem Project, and others, and she was co-winner of The Phillips Collection’s Lupertz Poetry Challenge. She lives in Washington, DC, where she works as an editor.

collage by Urgent Chutney