Why knowing is a quality out of fashion and no one can decide to but slips into it or ends up with a painting one has never seen that quality of light before even before having seen it in between pages of another book and not remembering who knows or recognizing the questionable quality of light on her face as she sits for a portrait and isn't allowed to move an inch you recognize the red silk flower on her hat and can almost place where you have seen that gray descending through the light reversing foreground and background as the directions escape one as the way you have to live with anyone as she gets up finally from her chair having written the whole of it in her head as the question ignored for the hundredth time as a quality of knowing is oddly resuscitated from a decade prior to this.
Does staring into the black and white contours of a photo
enable a rapprochement with the unreality of one’s own life,
a way to see peculiarity as a back staircase in an old house in a city
so memorably far, dark but navigable, the stairs lacking undulation,
items strewn across a landscape, fixed and determined,
the borders of history and frame set and watching her feet going up and down,
counting the risers that are always 16 despite the deformations of dreams,
always scuffed and smelling of dust, the taste of a local architect
influenced by city regulations and his sense of propriety and then turning
the page to an image of the purported documents of an ordinary scene,
a few weeds wavering in the foreground and the jagged outlines against a sky,
a 7pm time of day, summer, a particular dry rush of air,
and a cutout of one’s own days called up, and the inability to get at
the unlocatable bereavement left on the stairs to be carried up when you go.