Interior with Figures

1 March 2017

It’s in your mouth corners—
two lips clamped tight
and gently curved to hide it.

It’s in the way you hold your hands
not quite together,
fumbling with an uncertain future
as it clings
to your third finger.

It’s in your glance—
the search for answers
you will not get, perhaps,
until it is too late to go
back.

It’s in the trees
beyond the glass, who
seem to know more, though
they turn their heads
in spite of you.

It’s in his leaning body and
the chair that supports it;
both of you stand –
it’s quite impossible to sit.

It’s the silent conviction
in her hands, rested
half open in her lap.

It’s in the careful crease
of the curtains,
who shake hands with the sun
behind your back:
they make their bets.

It’s in the blue of your dress
that places you, unwillingly,
at the centre of
an unconscious universe.

The only anxiety I know
tingles my teeth
and squats to tie
its laces on my chest. I don’t
know how you feel, though somehow I think
I do.


Notes:
Based upon the painting, Interior with Figures, by Chester Earles, 1872

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