Friday, February 7, 2014

Poem: The Strange House of the Past


The Strange House of the Past
by Maria Mazziotti Gillan


Moving through the strange house
of the past
the black ink of midnight

what I want is dangerous

the sound the wind makes,
a portrait of the world
in soft orange or blood red.

I dream my cousin teaches me
how to balance in a kayak
though I am terrified of water.

In the finished basement where
I first made love, I learn now to tell
a rose from a frog, how to break my heart.

Why does the world reek of death and violence?
In the changing light of the past who
we were rises up to confront us

We cannot smile or laugh,
our faces crumple.
What we want is too dangerous

to hold or touch.



from Maria Mazziotti Gillan’s Ancestors' Song (Bordighera Press)