He watches from the corners, he watches from the walls. His fingertips are like gentle sandpaper, soft from years of rubbing. His tongue is long and dry, feathery as a new paintbrush. All day he smells the museum-goers. He can never leave. He is so very hungry.

The different layers of odor wrap around them: that ordinary perfume of the outside, the air disrupted by travel, the dried remains of steam from meals. He knows the way breath smells when words die in the mouth, again and again. This, of course, is another way of measuring time. At night the dust settles. Then the man in the museum comes out. He comes out from the walls. He comes out from the corners. He drifts in from the empty space. He coalesces around a headless statue and eyes the neck.

As he salivates the air becomes dry and still. Then he extends his tongue. He eats the dust off statues and laps lovingly at impressionistic paintings, he tickles tasty tarnish free. All night he feasts so things stay the same. He feasts on newness, but he can never leave.