Thursday, December 15

Desunt Non Nulla

Then she is leaning, facing north & numberless in pleated light. How the sheets appear as driven by a scurvy wind, the bedclothes end in quivering, the red lead of their folds asail, Northumbrian. Her face is primitive & spare, her neck an ill illumination, unnatural, prolonged — Are missing not no things. One morning I woke in the garden, night's lanterns snuffed & hung in alder trees, & was surrounded like an English leopard quartered on a coat of arms, the night gone in the glass eye of its final thirteen hours. Above — a bird, half cut off from the binder of the sky, flies north. At west, a calendar, a corridor, scriptorium.

And took the book & opened it, to this — a flinched life where nature has no place or folio. The adversaria were gold & partially erased; in the margin there, the furnishings of falcons glaired, their jesses & their tiny bells & hectic hoods. The glove is flanged, a color I will never know. He puts on his one right cuff. The rustre of two raptors, fisted, sit on a stone, a blush of iron, wonder, drear. At left, a hound is whistled up, & bounds. Above the sequence are two copper birds, the one in flight, the other perched. The first is prey; flies upward.

And thou not there -- a miniature of dread. Nothing is not not there.

-- Lucie Brock-Broido The Master Letters