Denise Levertov

The Spy

Everything was very delicately striped.
You could see the wood-pulse exquisitely throb
under paint’s thin tissue, beside
the mirror limpid in its film
of silver,
most justly beveled,
most faintly steam-blurred,
most faintly warped as if with just sufficient
bruise to ting
with tenderness its icy patience.
A few sheets of paperwork still on the roll;
the austere and efficient holder cast, in the shadows,
a sprightly fantasy of itself in stronger shadow, crossing
the beveled molding. This the glass
never could reflect,
never unless the entire closet door, wrenched from its hinges,
were placed across the room and
forced to look back,
or a second mirror
brought in to face it: neither of them 
with a word to say.
There was blue, there was brown paler than ivory,
                                                        a half-curtain,
there were other blues and an aspiration to whiteness,
there were preludes to green pink, gold and aluminum,
mostly there was the sense that though
the light would fade
and return next day and slowly move
from right to left and again
fade and return, yet
the stillness here, so delicate,
pulse unquickened, could outwait
every move.