The sound of conversation humming between the sofas recalls me to the roof. Escape perhaps – transcending conversation. White light coming in from the ceiling. The dome is slightly religious and covered with pigeon droppings. Music, a baby crying – the first day of winter. My new warm coat sits in the seat across the table. There is silence behind everything. Children’s voices in the orchard, apple-blossomed and dappled with sunlight. Green leaves go on for miles of cloudless skies and ladders left resting against tree trunks
A figure, draped in black, sits on the steps of the abbey. She clutches the metal that hangs against her neck, burning into her skin. A red burn mark, pigeons cooing in the square. Bits of paper float across the windows windows barred and covered with ice looking out on the empty cobbled streets where it is dark and candles grow outside houses with curtains which smell of mulled wine and muted conversations.
In the art gallery, which is white, voices Echo. The sound of footsteps bouncing against the wall while faceless faces in evening gowns stare at pictures which are nothing more than mirrors, reflecting nothing. Hooks hang down from the chandelier promising bruises and blood and destruction but there is only the chequered marble floors.
She sits in the throne room, surrounded by candles. She is deep in meditation. Shadows flicker in front of the endless fires which burn perpetually becoming smoke and forests abandoned on winter evenings under bare branches. She sits in the throne room while the shadows encircle and fly and threaten. Dead senses are inpenetrable, small high windows show purple starlight and eyes which are open keep watch on the dreamers who are lost on the ocean beside the fire beneath the moonlight.
A voice, a movement. Footsteps echo along the marble hallways hung with viscera and smoke. In this labyrinth there are many alternatives but only one leads to the room where she sits in the throne room listening to the howling ocean and feeling the moonlight caress her skin with diamonds. If she opens her eyes they will all stop moving – swallowed in time like corpses suspended in motion under the surface of the bathwater. A distant boat where the dead bodies of fishermen are wrought in marble, under the throne room where the shadows flicker and the mouths open