Ruth Barker

Exercise for Closed Eyes

2014

 

 

In the room it is very dark.

 

In the darkness, I close my eyes.

 

Behind my lids I see:

 

 

 

Eight hundred lights in one hundred and seventy seven years;

 

One thousand lamps in a decade;

 

Thirteen candles in fourteen minutes;

 

A hundred billion points of radiance in an hour;

 

Four searchlights in thirty seconds;

 

Two thousand one hundred and forty torches in twelve hundred days;

 

Half a trillion beacons in a century;

 

Nineteen columns of phosphorescence in an age;

 

Ten gaslights in ninety minutes;

 

Three score lanterns in a millennium;

 

Five dozen flares in an aeon;

 

Eleven flames in an orbit;

 

Two million sunbeams in a lifetime.

 

 

 

I smell the sulphur.

 

I taste the embers.

 

I hear the carbon.

 

I feel the warmth against my face.

 

I open my eyes.

 

The room is still dark.

 

 

 

 

 [repeat]