Each night, I finger the pieces of her,
a Parisian doll, her fragments all
image-side up, in and around the borders
of her incomplete room.
There, a spray of hair
against a porcelain cheek,
here, lips painted red,
a silken white sleeve illuminated
by the light of her writing lamp.
With feather stylus balanced
in her jig-sawed hand she writes,
I would like to imagine,
to one who, had her eyes not been made of glass,
might have caused her tears of joy
or of sorrow, and who,
had her chest not been hollow,
might have provoked a wild pulsing
through her crystalline veins,
but I know this is the most
her breakable body can endure:
this still, silent moment in which she sits
poised, mid-letter, eyes
permanently open, looking my way,
and seeing nothing.