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Screen to Page: The Woman in the Window

by Rachel Tanner

She used to be a wildfire. A firecracker.
Amy Adams stares through a curtained window onto a street with a blank expression. The reflection of the street on the glass is overlaid onto her face.
(Image: Amy Adams, The Woman in the Window (2021), aceshowbiz)

Rachel Tanner has been drawing from film to inspire her poetry. This week, in honor of the upcoming PRECIPICE release, we have chosen her piece inspired by The Woman in the Window (2021) as it invokes a certain lethargy and ennui, that makes way for a shift towards light and hope, which we hope to see for our own future.


An agoraphobic woman living alone in New York begins spying on her new neighbors, only to witness a disturbing act of violence (IMDB).


"What You See Isn't What You Get"

After The Woman in the Window (2021)

In a brownstone in Manhattan, she sits

at the window and watches

for signs of life beyond her own.

Pills for the pain. Drink for the past.

She can't step outside and hasn't felt

fresh air on her skin for years.

It shows in her face,

pale and tired. No one understands.

No one even tries.

Her therapist is a dick and makes her feel

like the world is her fault. Like all the bad energy

trickled out into the air from her heart

and onto the breeze, spreading

like wildfire.

She used to be a wildfire. A firecracker.

A child psychologist secure in her

decisions. Secure in her marriage

and excited about the future.

When she calls the police because she thinks

she sees a crime across the street, she is

brushed off. Agoraphobia is a mental illness,

after all. And who wants to trust

someone unstable? Who wants to admit

that most of us are different in some way

but not everyone can see the holes

in their minds where the darkness seeps in?

She's mentally ill they say. She

can't be trusted. You know how they are.

No one gets it. There is lonely, and then

there is this crushing weight on top of her

begging her to go into remission. Begging

her to go outside.

She used to be in love with the world

but now she sits and she stares and she

speculates about things that are

none of her business.

Someone takes a picture of her while she sleeps.

Someone has broken his bail conditions

and pays her rent from the basement

in a house that is too big to be comforting.

She wants to die. She wants to end.

She films a goodbye on her phone

but at the last minute,

finds reasons to live. Breathing becomes

easier. Life becomes bearable. But

children don't always mind their manners

and the boy across the street

has a burgeoning taste for blood. He tries

to finish what she started. Tries to push and pull

a life away from a woman who hasn't left

the house in years. Tries to deem

her obsolete.



there isn't a day

that passes now in which

she doesn't consider herself lucky. Sober,

she moves on. Happy, she moves away.

Love, the world keeps spinning.

Dear light, she wishes you well.


Rachel Tanner is a writer for Radical Art Review.


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