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Helen Wright

Nobody Knows Anything
15 April to 11 May 2005


Stephen Edgar

The hook receives the wire and its null weight.
Hung on the white unbeing of the wall
This door into the dark at two AM,
A blackness framed in black, seems to install
An absence there to unsubstantiate
Canvas and plaster where the two of them
Meet to contrive their empty stratagem.

At lower left the first step of a stair
To nowhere. A bare doorframe climbs to lose
Itself in shadow like a seeping stain.
Beyond the door the same shadow imbues
Bare floor; the hallway and its wall are bare:
A vacant threshold, immanent membrane
For what may pass in or return again.

And so I woke up at the painted hour
And turned and found you there, my dead belovèd,
Deeply asleep, washed with as faint a glow
Of night light as wherewith the floor is covered
Before the doorway where the shadows lour.
Shaken from sleep and propped on one elbow,
I stared to see again that face I know.

I watched your dreaming profile, I watched you,
Pillowed in shadow and your wavy hair,
Your body’s form unthreatened and content
As in the life, till waking should undo
What sleep persuaded in my eyes. But there
You lay and stayed for time to represent
Your long dormition’s brief embodiment 

Not as the lapse of seconds but an age.
No fear, but passing shock, then wonder filled
My watching as I leant by you, held fast,
Certain that you would turn to me, and thrilled
By what soft whispered nothings would assuage
The three mute years without them that had passed.
But not a move. No word. No breath. At last

I tentatively stretched a tender hand
For you, both to confirm and to caress
The thickness of those waves, and instantly
The whole of you resolved to evanesce.
Your head became the shade it lay on and
Your shape was made away; it seemed to me
The quilt sank into your nonentity. 

Why did you choose this night of all the nights
That I have lain here asking for your ghost?
Perhaps for all the doors I thought to lock
Against the dark, the one that matters most
Is in the house and open and invites
Your coming with no need to call or knock;

And you entered by the door of two o’clock.

go to | Helen's Exhibition | artwork 2:00