Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Dearest, rising to the surface
or appearing in the night sky as a sliver
(not diva of bright full moon, not tonight)
or I'm standing at an upper floor window
rivulets dripping down the pane
(except that it's not raining)
rendering the shimmering view distorted
as if regarded through warped glass
I gaze out at wet verdant green, trees lush and dark
and like a woman who might in silence look out
absently imagining the figure of her lover on horseback appearing
at the far end of the lonely road and fields
galloping in silence towards the manse
I look out without seeing for a glimpse of you.
But you are far, far away, landscape silent
(at least within the confines of this silent room)
unpeopled save for an image faintly overlaid,
facing me uncomprehendingly, with or without my notice
my own reflection as I peer past
to the vast world beyond
for a reflection of you
even as I know in vain, that the only vision of you,
amid other fleeting momentary impressions
gone when I turn away from the glass
captured only, as ever, if conjured
whether I'm asleep or awake
will be in my mind.

Vilhelm Hammershoi (Danish, 1864-1916), Bedroom, 1890

Harry Callahan (American, 1912-1999), Eleanor, Chicago, 1948, gelatin silver print, National Gallery of Art, Washington (link re: current exhibition here)

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