PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND
after Francesca Woodman
To return in autumn
is to hide behind a fireplace
slip under a sheet of wallpaper.
I twirled nude through rooms
lived for the lens of a Yashica reflex.
I used a mirror to see between my legs.
I preferred a single shot:
to blur a trace of the subject.
I wore damask like a shroud.
a whirlpool through which I could fall.
& caught bubbles as they escaped my lips.
I spent too long studying a stain under an architrave.
I never came back.
My arms held out in front of me like a somnambulist.
I’d hang myself
from lintels in cruciform pose. I never had a house
I was the true Baroque. I’d wander up a staircase
play hide-and-seek till the boyfriends left me.
I adored puppets:
how they swung.
made me believe in magic.
The house devoured me.
I’m seeing the after-image.
How I clipped on angel wings
till the answer appeared.
Here I am in pages.
Here I am
reweaving her tapestries.
Patrick Wright has a poetry collection, Full Sight Of Her, published by Eyewear Publishing (2020). He has been shortlisted for the Bridport Prize and teaches English Literature and Creative Writing at the Open University. He is also currently finishing a PhD in Creative Writing, on the ekphrasis of modern and contemporary art, supervised by Jane Yeh and Siobhan Campbell.