ceaseless, i wait here in my hall of stone. my continuous, meditative, monotonous vigil only broken by the sound of a camera shutter or the scratch of charcoal over rough paper. my silence never ends, since my marble knees do not know the hour when they will straighten and carry me away, nor my spine knows when to crack and unfurl my body tall, higher than the skylight under which i am displayed, nor my dainty dress knows when to settle itself more comfortably over my shoulders. so here i remain, forever more statue than woman. one evening, out of the blue twilight the night guard saunters in, bold and butch and self-assured (her footfalls give her away) without warning, she leans in close, shining her beam in my placid face, and i cannot blink away the yellow light (and never would, just to glimpse once more upon her lovely face) hastily she whispers in my ear, instantly transforming my marble to rose quartz and slowly then, she kisses me, soft and earnest and fleeting and suddenly i am more woman than statue.