In the house
a great silence, the roped-off tables and chairs,
the shirt and hat still on their hook as if at any second
he might come in and reach for them. I’ll be down
at the water’s edge, looking out. . . We were the ghosts
beyond the ropes, peering in
to breathe tunes into a wind-up gramophone,
work the hand-press into the night, infuse
the flags with the tang of bread and oil.
But that clarity, how everything blazed
in the undaunted light of itself. A typewriter
nailed down for all eternity, drafts a whisper from ink
flourishing their imperfections.
In the museum room a looped film of the artist shaving,
shelves of his books; ‘I breed pedigree dogs to feed my cats’.
The place held its breath. In this readiness what could resist?
Touch nothing but listen for the lift-off, the print
of the house on its own waiting, the lucky lope
of the sleek black cat through the ropes, and out.