After a postcard of van Gogh’s “Bedroom at Arles”
If, in some night, I saw beyond
The newest moon,
And my thoughts would carry me on
To where un-bounding time
Once ran for us, but soon ran past-
I’d turn up the postcard I almost sent
To show you van Gogh’s bedroom at Arles,
And I’d set to stare
At the slats of wave made fast
Where the floor was a pitch to climb or descend,
If there were time to draw us in
And try to be at rest in that room,
In its waited way
That dangles all the feet
Above the flooding of the ground,
Leaving the bed un-touched and dry:
But the looking glass over the basin-
It must be broken, as it’s blank. Or
This room really has no door leading on from any hall,
But rather, in plan, has only the fourth and lunar wall.
And yet now, from here, we both of us glare-
Without a shadow to chase.
And time-pricked in this
-Can only desire for more of itself
To sprinkle now, like a brief thread
Drawn all ways through a needles eye.
Sean became a poet at Haverford College, the best of Philadelphia’s suburban Quaker schools. He currently reads and writes at “Rutgers…the State University of New Jersey.” He shares his name with a boxer, a comedian, and an alleged IRA member; we apologize for any confusion this has caused.