In the mansion of insomnia,
a door ajar. I pushed. It opened
onto the working sketch of a day.
Fawns of dropcloth, sandpaper, sawdust.
A flipbook of swatches left behind
by painters called to another job.
Hessian the tone of cloud that comes down
to rest on a lake’s replenished lens
and hide vast ranges of damp slate blue.
Week-old daffodil water the shade
of a rackety patch of sunlight
in the corner of a quadrangle
where a small thumb presses to release
a pungency of mandarin peel.
Kerosene cantaloupe the nuance
of dawn light climbing down from the tip
of a flexing Norfolk Island pine
(it’s symmetry versus the sea wind).
A tumblerful of coloured thimbles.
A spattered sawhorse. Two stiff brushes.
It was the forever unfinished,
the space invisible on the plan,
the gap that allows the rest to move,
a luminosity spring by night,
by day a starlight impluvium,
the place of the shadow splice, and I
feel the glow still of that phantom site.