There’s a table in the center of the room,
and the ceiling is ochre and very close.
There’s the sound of rain and nobody is home—
nobody else who can help hold up the house.
There’s a black lacquer table and it’s holding
a candle that stands beyond the windowpane;
its fire is polished brass and barely moving,
and the midnight sitting room is dark as rain.
Upstairs the air is dark but the bed is made,
there’s a book somewhere I haven’t been reading.
Downstairs the bookshelves have been newly arranged,
and the black lacquer tabletop is peeling.
Wax has been tarnishing the brass candlestick,
and the edges of the flower are folded.
Although the sharp edges of the flame reflect
in the picture frame the faces are clouded.
All the room’s dark furnishings conserve their strength;
the black table bears what I need to survive—
the taper, the portrait, and the hyacinth.
When I get up, all the windows throw their knives.