Fall 1985 • Vol. VII No. 4 A Poem |

A Photograph by August Sander (Young Girl in a Circus Wagon, Düren, 1932)

Even in this grey light the nail heads sing. Even beneath this weather something falls not quite daylight and not yet wholly darkness. Admittedly, we have been given little, beyond apparent surfaces, to work with: a girl, a circus wagon, some bleak alley Herr Sander, quite by accident, has chanced on, hurrying, eyes half-closed, through Duren's outskirts in an attempt, it would seem, to pass through as quickly as possible, to forget what he has seen or, eyes half-closed, not quite seen. But he finds himself lingering, then pausing, against his instincts studying the girl, all aspects of the setting, each detail memorized, fixed, made room for, set in place, the congruence of the look on her face with her surroundings moving, haunting him, making him need to take his time, move slowly, rethink the whole arrangement—alley, wagon, girl-at-a-door, weather of Düren, dust—, go back, go back again, to her expression, that mix of anguish, dreaming, of pure longing, to see if he might h

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