Sculpture in Black Ice

Author: Breda Sullivan

You close the door,
I know I am safe.

Always at evening I come,
the uncurtained window
welcoming the dark

the lights of the town distant
as flung stars.

We sit, the table’s length
between us. I place
at the centre tonight’s token

a sculpture in black ice –
not carefully chiselled

until it became what I wanted,
but a sculpture in the way
a piece of oak is

plucked from the bog.
Slowly I begin to speak.

You listen with all
of your listening –
each word a black tear

dissolving. The sculpture now a black
pool, I take my leave of you.

My going a whisper
in the empty corridor,
down the long carpeted stairs.

Outside I look up
at the rectangle of light

that is your window.
Always at evening I will come
until the evening of evenings

when I place on your table
a sculpture carved in alabaster

so white
I will speak no word.
It will shed no tear.