Joanna Klink

Said of them who went to the village for sun or quiet and found quiet.

Said of them who slipped into another’s house and spoke in low notes so as not to be


announced. In all their concealment the house in stone




chipping off the slough of months, the house in stone and its indiscernible

track inside their chests like the dust from the stone walls and its indis-


cernible track on their lips and wrists, said of them who knew the days were brief


though they announced a life went to buy pears from wooden carts

and went to buy bread from the old woman in the store with iron grates




or lemon tarts to be eaten in the stone house to which they fled with their books in hopes of

home in all their concealments from each other said I will be here.


Who heard them heard through the silence of thick stone the smaller silence inside

and the occasional shoe-pat from the sidewalk or heater-knock, for it was still winter


despite the nearby sea and sun, the thinning forms of themselves as they spoke or ate or

read grow




full in the fullness of that measure said to touch those who have passed through long

pain and seen themselves under the fine white dust of certain ceilings


as they are, alone, with their impulse to conceal what has grown dense in proportion to the

                                                                                                daily disappointments went


on in that house as the weather warmed and the street-stones warmed under the fretted

red roofs feeling I will be here. How many of you would have stayed




knowing some conviction of inner emptiness was made raw by the presence of each other

and spared only by the presence of each other in fractions of hard gray-

                breaking ten-century-old

                stone in bits and

                dusts from the very


walls and words in patterns they spoke with the old-sweet shyness held in each


throat beneath each hour marked twice, once by the village church-bell peal and once by a

distant village church-bell peal’s delay?


Said of them who went to the village: they were there.

As one who prays might press his head to stone.