Elaine Terranova is the author of five collections of poems, most recently, Dames Rocket. A new collection, Dollhouse, is forthcoming. Her work has appeared in a number of literary magazines and anthologies. Her translation of Euripides’ Iphigenia at Aulis is part of the Penn Greek Drama Series. She has received the Walt Whitman Award, an NEA, a Pew Fellowship, and a Pushcart Prize.
Think of the dollhouse
as a collection, a museum,
even a prison, but a little doll,
a tiny chair, mean nothing
if not in the context of a house.
There is in a house, despite
its safety, I don’t know,
such capacity for movement and change.
At night, for instance, a house
talks back, crackles and knocks.
Turn on the alarm and it is like
setting the alarm of your fear,
little birdcall of eternity.
Downstairs you have only just
shut the door on the world
and you float up, giddy with sleep.
You fly–don’t they call the sets
of steps flights? At the top,
massive dark, a wind that rushes
through the hall.
Everything moves around.
Nothing is stable. Then you open
a door, look through a window,
and find there, pocketed by the sky,
the nearly perfect moon.