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Edward Hopper

The house is empty. It is October
and I’ve painted a maple tree outside it
the color of loss. There is no light inside
the house except for dusk lingering by windows.
No other light, because I want
to imagine it placed forever in a mysterious
emptiness. A while ago the canvas was white,
more brilliant in its blankness than this grey
clapboard house, now the center of a
neighborhood troubled by two
old lovers who died inside, weeks apart. For
months, grass has grown, unkempt, no rain has
washed the white waste of pigeons
from its gingerbread eaves; the air
inside has nowhere to go.

Surely there must be someone who says,
“Your work is too much for us. Let there
be only the white canvas, not these colors
expecting so much and so little.” “Yes,
I would say, “that’s why I want to paint

not the surface of the house in autumn,
but the emptiness behind walls, the blank
inside-of-things on which so much depends.”