• Nina Hanz

Goodnight, Jessamine


The stretched skin of birch branches like moonstone. An intricate alchemy

of a silver tap, a concrete cover-up, forming six magic panels / seven-meter


Do you dream of silver forests before sleep?

Here captured between fence-lines, those boundaries, the forest faraway.

With edges of grey matter, like frames holding photographs,

each picture a three-dimensional sculpture, a building. Relief. So permanent,

and everlasting

a cityscape in cold currents. Trees turning to bones, tombstones, the outlines

against wind so

silver and essential in the city hall shadows. If the forest is a wall, then a fence

makes a garden, the slim difference between private / public.


An etymology uncommon the garden: an

enclosure. A compound, walls that keep

sand bags from dust basin deserts away

from the oasis, midnight mirage, another

way to say the man-made, material, seen

until nightfall—when park becomes garden.


If the night had a smell, would it be lavender or a malt,

midnight mixture? Maybe neither

said the jasmine, sweet breaths of jessamine. From the

family of nightshade, echoes and evergreens, the shrub

that sends a smell only for night. As flower buds like bulbs

open for scents to sway in night-blooming flashes, new life

lectures for the hidden practice of night. With closed eyes,

senses are heightened and the rare flower fights.


A shadow flash, the shove-from-behind. A crowd silent listens to the thud on the floor when red wrestling shoes meets stenches, of sweat / labor. A bed so violent,

the performance of sweet floral scent as sun-flaxen hair hits cheekbone / eye socket with

a slap towards ground, toss down. So pungent a movement,

the struggle of night. Steps from the winner’s circle, one class ruling with might. Why is it

that the most beautiful moment of a flower also happens to be its last?

Rut Blees Luxemburg's 'Silver Forest' (2017)

Hicham Berrada's Enclosed Natures (2018)

Nina Beier's 'Class' (2019)

Nina Beier's 'Class' (2019)

This poem was originally Written for a groups show at RCA's Battersea Campus called 'Writing the Night' in 2019.