after the painting ‘Room in New York’ by Edward Hopper

This is a work
of caught moments ,
        two halves of a life

but not a fiction,
however skilfully
        they evade shadows.

Stubbornly opposing
the artist’s discipline,
        she strums

the piano’s keys
with one finger.
        The man

stares passively
at a newspaper,
        an open window

evoking memories
of earlier sunlight.
        The room pretends

not to sleep,
evening not yet
        specific enough.

The minute hand
of the clock
        can be heard falling.

It is the loudest sound of all.