How simple it is: day knocks
And somebody opens, the shutter opens in
And in come light and warmth together as one and the same And where she stands
Is neither a circle of privacy
Nor the arena of a performance
But only a small round mat for her feet on the cold tiles While under an empty mirror
She bows to the water lifted in her hands
And sideways on her sunlight comes in from the garden And on her back there is a man’s admiration.
You will say it is only a picture, another nude But I say it has been that simple:
Jug, basin, washstand, towel and chair
The plain nouns, and a woman at a meeting place Of warm sunlight and loving admiration
And easy feeling both.
from Something for the Ghosts (Bloodaxe, 2002), © David Constantine 2002, used by permission of the author and the publisher.